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Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton 

In thirty- two volumes 



Part II 

The Rise of New France 

From 'a colour drawing by C. W. Jefferys 


A Chronicle of the Cross 
in the Wilderness 



Copyright in all Countries subscribing to 
the Berne Convention 






III. IN HURONIA . . . ; . . . 17 

V. THE RETURN TO HURONIA. . ^ ''; . 44 

VI. THE MARTYRS . . . . . 68 





XI. THE LAST PHASE . . . , . "140 


INDEX 147 


COLLETS, 1625 . ; .' . .' . Frontispiece 
From a colour drawing by C. W. Jefferys. 


Based on the Map by the Rev. A. E. Jones, S.J. 

JEAN DE BREBEUF . ..,'.' 10 

From a painting in the House of the Immaculate 
Conception, Montreal. 

LING ,,32 

From the John Ross Robertson Collection, 
Toronto Public Library. 

PAUL LE JEUNE . . . . . ,,44 

From a painting in the House of the Immaculate 
Conception, Montreal. 


From a painting in the Ursuline Convent, 


From an engraving by S. Hollyer, 



JEANNE MANCE ..... Facing page 112 

From a portrait in the Chateau de Ramezay, 


From a portrait in the Chateau de Ramezay, 



From a painting in the House of the Immaculate 
Conception, Montreal. 

FOR seven years the colony which Champlain 
founded at the rock of Quebec lived without 
priests. 1 Perhaps the lack was not seriously 
felt, for most of the twoscore inmates of 
the settlement were Huguenot traders. But 
out in the great land, in every direction 
from the rude dwellings that housed the 
pioneers of Canada, roamed savage tribes, 
living, said Champlain, ' like brute beasts.' 
It was Champlain's ardent desire to reclaim 
these beings of the wilderness. The salva- 
tion of one soul was to him ' of more value 
than the conquest of an empire.' Not far 
from his native town of Brouage there was a 
community of the Recollets, and, during one 
of his periodical sojourns in France, he invited 
them to send missionaries to Canada. The 

1 For the general history of the period covered by the first 
four chapters of the present narrative, see The Founder of New 
France in this Series. 

J.M. A 


Recollets responded to his appeal, and it was 
arranged that several of their number should 
sail with him to the St Lawrence in the 
following spring. So, in May 1615, three 
Recollet friars Denis Jamay, Jean d'Olbeau, 
Joseph Le Caron and a lay brother named 
Pacificus du Plessis, landed at Tadoussac. 
To these four men is due the honour of found- 
ing the first permanent mission among the 
Indians of New France. An earlier under- 
taking of the Jesuits in Acadia (1611-13) had 
been broken up. The Canadian mission is 
usually associated with the Jesuits, and rightly 
so, for to them, as we shall see, belongs its 
most glorious history ; but it was the Recol- 
lets who pioneered the way. 

When the friars reached Quebec they 
arranged a division of labour in this manner : 
Jamay and Du Plessis were to remain at 
Quebec ; D'Olbeau was to return to Tadoussac 
and essay the thorny task of converting the 
tribes round that fishing and trading station ; 
while to Le Caron was assigned a more distant 
field, but one that promised a rich harvest. 
Six or seven hundred miles from Quebec, in 
the region of Lake Simcoe and the Georgian 
Bay, dwelt the Hurons, a sedentary people 
living in villages and practising a rude agri 




Indian Villages art marked thus . Artnte 

Modern Villages are marked thus laty 

Tevnship Unas 


culture. In these respects they differed from 
the Algonquin tribes of the St Lawrence, who 
had no fixed abodes and depended on forest 
and stream for a living. The Hurons, too, 
were bound to the French by both war and 
trade. Champlain had assisted them and the 
Algonquins in battle against the common foe, 
the Iroquois or Five Nations, and a flotilla of 
canoes from the Huron country, bringing furs 
to one of the trading-posts on the St Lawrence, 
was an annual event. The Recollets, there- 
fore, felt confident of a friendly reception 
among the Hurons ; and it was with buoyant 
hopes that Le Caron girded himself for the 
journey to his distant mission-field. 

On the 6th or yth of July, in company with 
a party of Hurons, Le Caron set out from the 
island of Montreal. The Hurons had come 
down to trade, and to arrange with Champlain 
for another punitive expedition against the 
Iroquois, and were now returning to their own 
villages. It was a laborious and painful 
journey up the Ottawa, across Lake Nipis- 
sing, and down the French River but at 
length the friar stood on the shores of Lake 
Huron, the first of white men to see its waters. 
From the mouth of the French River the 
course lay southward for more than a hundred 


miles along the east shore of Georgian Bay, 
until the party arrived at the peninsula which 
lies between Nottawasaga and Matchedash 
Bays. Three or four miles inland from the 
west shore of this peninsula stood the town 
of Carhagouha, a triple-palisaded stronghold 
of the Hurons. Here the Indians gave the 
priest an enthusiastic welcome and invited 
him to share their common lodges ; but 
as he desired a retreat ' in which he could 
meditate in silence,' they built him a com- 
modious cabin apart from the village. A 
few days later Champlain himself appeared 
on the scene ; and it was on the I2th of 
August that he and his followers attended in 
Le Caron's cabin the first Mass celebrated 
in what is now the province of Ontario. 
Then, while Le Caron began his efforts for 
the conversion of the benighted Hurons, 
.Champlain went off with the warriors on a 
very different mission an invasion of the 
Iroquois country. The commencement of re- 
ligious endeavour in Huronia is thus marked 
by an event that was to intensify the hatred 
of the ferocious Iroquois against both the 
Hurons and the French. 

Le Caron spent the remainder of the year 
1615 among the Hurons, studying the people, 


learning the language, and compiling a diction- 
ary. Champlain, his expedition ended, re- 
turned to Huronia and remained there until 
the middle of January, when he and Le Caron 
set out on a visit to the Petun or Tobacco 
Nation, then dwelling on the southern shore 
of Nottawasaga Bay, a two-days' journey 
south-west of Carhagouha. There had been 
as yet no direct communication between the 
French and the Petuns, and the visitors were 
not kindly received. The Petun sorcerers 
or medicine-men dreaded the influence of the 
grey-robed friar, regarded him as a rival, 
and caused his teachings to be derided. After 
an uncomfortable month Champlain and Le 
Caron returned to Carhagouha, where they 
remained until the 2Oth of May, and then set 
out for Quebec. 

V/hen Le Caron reached Quebec on the 
nth of July (1616) he found that his comrades 
had not been idle. A chapel had been built, 
in what is now the Lower Town, close to the 
habitation, and here Father Jamay ministered 
to the spiritual needs of the colonists and 
laboured among the Indians camped in the 
vicinity of the trading-post. Father d'Olbeau 
had been busy among the Montagnais, a 
wandering Algonquin tribe between Tadoussac 


and Seven Islands, his reward being chiefly 
suffering. The filth and smoke of the Indian 
wigwams tortured him, the disgusting food 
of the natives filled him with loathing, and 
their vice and indifference to his teaching 
weighed on his spirit. 

The greatest trial the Recollets had to bear 
was the opposition of the Company of St Malo 
and Rouen, which was composed largely of 
Huguenots, and had a monopoly of the trade 
of New France. Many of the traders were 
actively antagonistic to the spread of the 
Catholic religion and they all viewed the work 
of the Recollets with hostility. It was the 
aim of the missionaries to induce the Indians 
to settle near the trading-posts in order that 
they might the more easily be reached with 
the Gospel message. The traders had but 
one thought the profits of the fur trade ; 
and, desiring to keep the Indians nomadic 
hunters of furs, they opposed bringing them 
into fixed abodes and put every possible 
obstacle in the way of the friars. Trained 
interpreters in the employ of the company for 
both the Hurons and the various Algonquin 
tribes were ordered not to assist the mission- 
aries in acquiring a knowledge of the native 
languages. The company was pledged to 


support six missionaries, but the support was 
given with an unwilling, niggardly hand. 

At length, in 1621, as a result of the com- 
plaints of Champlain and the Recollets, before 
the authorities in France, the Company of 
St Malo and Rouen lost its charter, and the 
trading privileges were given to William and 
Emery de Caen, uncle and nephew. But 
these men also were Huguenots, and the 
unhappy condition of affairs continued in 
an intensified form. Champlain, though the 
nominal head of the colony, was unable to 
provide a remedy, for the real power was in 
the hands of the Caens, who had in their 
employment practically the entire population. 

Yet, in spite of all the obstacles put in their 
way, the Recollets continued their self-sacrific- 
ing labours. By the beginning of 1621 they 
had a comfortable residence on the bank of 
the St Charles, on the spot where now stands 
the General Hospital. Here they had been 
granted two hundred acres of land, and they 
cultivated the soil, raising meagre crops of 
rye, barley, maize, and wheat, and tending a 
few pigs, cows, asses, and fowls. There were 
from time to time accessions to their ranks. 
Betv/een the years 1616 and 1623 the fathers 
Guillaume Poullain, Georges le Baillif, Paul 


Huet, Jacques de la Foyer, Nicolas Viel, and 
several lay brothers, the most noted among 
whom was Gabriel Sagard-Theodat, laboured 
in New France. They made attempts to 
christianize the Micmacs of Acadia, the Abnaki 
of the upper St John, the Algonquin tribes of 
the lower St Lawrence, and the Nipissings of 
the upper Ottawa. But the work among these 
roving bands proved most disheartening, and 
once more the grey-robed friars turned to the 

The end of August 1623 saw Le Caron, Viel, 
and Sagard in Huronia. Until October they 
seem to have laboured in different settle- 
ments, Viel at Toanche, a short distance from 
Penetanguishene Bay, Sagard at Ossossane, 
near Dault's Bay, an indentation of Notta- 
wasaga Bay, and Le Caron at Carhagouha. 
It does not appear that they were able to 
make much of an impression on the savages, 
though they had the satisfaction of some bap- 
tisms. During the winter Sagard studied 
Indian habits and ideas, and with Le Caron's 
assistance compiled a dictionary of the Huron 
language. 1 Then, in June 1624, Le Caron and 

1 Sagard's observations were afterwards given to the world 
in his Histoire du Canada et Voyages des Peres Recollects en la 


Sagard accompanied the annual canoe-fleet to 
Quebec, and Viel was left alone in Huronia. 

The Recollets were discouraged. They saw 
that the field was too large and that the 
difficulties were too great for them. And, 
after invoking ' the light of the Holy Spirit,' 
they decided, according to Sagard, ' to send 
one of their members to France to lay the 
proposition before the Jesuit fathers, whom 
they deemed the most suitable for the work 
of establishing and extending the Faith in 
Canada.' So Father Irenaeus Piat and Brother 
Gabriel Sagard were sent to entreat to the 
rescue of the Canadian mission the greatest of 
all the missionary orders an order which 
' had filled the whole world with memorials 
of great things done and suffered for the 
Faith ' the militant and powerful Society of 



THE 1 5th of June 1625 was a significant day 
for the colony of New France. On that morn- 
ing a blunt-prowed, high-pooped vessel cast 
anchor before the little trading village that 
clustered about the base of the great cliff at 
Quebec. It was a ship belonging to the Caens, 
and it came laden to the hatches with supplies 
for the colonists and goods for trade with the 
Indians. But, what was more important, it 
had as passengers the Jesuits who had been 
sent to the aid of the Recollets, the first of 
the followers of Loyola to enter the St Law- 
rence Fathers Charles Lalemant, Ennemond 
Masse, Jean de Brebeuf, and two lay brothers 
of the Society. These black-robed priests 
were the forerunners of an army of men who, 
bearing the Cross instead of the sword and 
labouring at their arduous tasks in humility 
and obedience but with dauntless courage 
and unflagging zeal, were to make their in- 
fluence felt from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of 


1-rom a painting in the House of the Immaculate Conception, Montreal 


Mexico, and from the sea-girt shores of Cape 
Breton to the wind-swept plains of the Great 
West. They were the vanguard of an army 
of true soldiers, of whom the words 

Their 's not to reason why, 
Their 's but to do and die, 

might fittingly have been written. The Jesuit 
missionary in North America had no thought 
of worldly profit or renown, but, with his 
mind fixed on eternity, he performed his task 
ad majorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory 
of God. 

The Jesuits had sailed from Dieppe on the 
26th of April in company with a Recollet 
friar, La Roche de Daillon, of whom we shall 
presently hear more. The voyage across the 
stormy Atlantic had been long and tedious. 
On a vessel belonging to Huguenots, the priests 
had been exposed to the sneers and gibes of 
crew and traders. It was the viceroy of New 
France, the Due de Ventadour, a devout 
Catholic, who had compelled the Huguenot 
traders to give passage to these priests, or 
they would not have been permitted on board 
the ship. Much better could the Huguenots 
tolerate the humble, mendicant Recollets than 
the Jesuits, aggressive and powerful, uncom- 
promising opponents of Calvinism. 


As the anchor dropped, the Jesuits made 
preparations to land ; but they were to meet 
with a temporary disappointment. Cham- 
plain was absent in France, and Emery de 
Caen said that he had received no instruc- 
tions from the viceroy to admit them to the 
colony. Moreover, they were told that there 
was no room for them in the habitation or 
the fort. To make matters worse, a bitter, 
slanderous diatribe against their order had 
been distributed among the inhabitants, and 
the doors of Catholics and Huguenots alike 
were closed against them. Prisoners on the 
ship, at the very gate of the promised land, 
no course seemed open to them but to return 
on the same vessel to France. But they were 
suddenly lifted by kindly hands from the 
depths of despair. A boat rowed by men 
attached to the Recollets approached their 
vessel. Soon several friars dressed in coarse 
grey robes, with the knotted cord of the 
Recollet order about their waists, peaked 
hood hanging from their shoulders, and coarse 
wooden sandals on their feet, stood before 
them on the deck, giving them a whole- 
hearted welcome and offering them a home, 
with the use of half the buildings and land 
on the St Charles. Right gladly the Jesuits 


accepted the offer and were rowed ashore in 
the boat of the generous friars. On touching 
the soil of New France they fell on their knees 
and kissed the ground, in spite of the scowling 
traders about them. 

The disappointment of these aggressive 
pioneers of the Church must have been great 
as they viewed Quebec. It was now seven- 
teen years since the colony had been founded ; 
yet it had fewer than one hundred inhabitants. 
In the whole of Canada there were but seven 
French families and only six white children. 
Save by Louis Hebert, the first to cultivate 
the soil at Quebec, and the Recollets, no 
attempt had been made at agriculture, and 
the colony was almost wholly dependent on 
France foi its subsistence. When not en- 
gaged in gathering furs or loading and unload- 
ing vessels, the men lounged in indolence 
about the trading-posts or wandered to the 
hunting grounds of the Indians, where they 
lived in squalor and vice. The avarice of 
the traders was bearing its natural fruit, and 
the untiring efforts of Champlain, a devoted, 
zealous patriot, had been unavailing to 
counteract it. The colony sorely needed the 
self-sacrificing Jesuits, but for whom it would 
soon undoubtedly have been cast off by the 


mother country as a worthless burden. To 
them Canada, indeed, owed its life ; for when 
the king grew weary of spending treasure on 
this unprofitable colony, the stirring appeals 
of the Relations 1 moved both king and people 
to sustain it until the time arrived when New 
France was valued as a barrier against New 

Scarcely had the Jesuits made themselves 
at home in the convent of the Recollets when 
they began planning for the mission. It was 
decided that Lalemant and Masse should 
remain at Quebec ; but Brebeuf, believing, 
like the Recollets, that little of permanent 
value could be done among the ever-shifting 
Algonquins, desired to start at once JFor the 
populous towns of Huronia. In July, in 
company with the Recollet La Roche de 
Daillon, Brebeuf set out for Three Rivers. 
The Indians Hurons, Algonquins, and Otta- 
was had gathered at Cape Victory, a pro- 
montory in Lake St Peter near the point 
where the lake narrows again into the St 

1 It was a rule of the Society of Jesus that each of its mission- 
aries should write a report of his work. These reports, known 
as Relations, were generally printed and sold by the booksellers 
of Paris. About forty volumes of the Relations from the missions 
of Canada were published between 1632 and 1672 and widely 
read in France. 


Lawrence. There, too, stood French vessels 
laden with goods for barter ; and thither 
went the two missionaries to make friends 
with the Indians and to lay in a store of goods 
for the voyage to Huronia and for use at the 
mission. The captains of the vessels appeared 
friendly and supplied the priests with coloured 
beads, knives, kettles, and other articles. All 
was going well for the journey, when, on 
the eve of departure, a runner arrived from 
Montreal bringing evil news. 

For a year the Recollet Nicolas Viel had 
remained in Huronia. Early in 1624 he 
had written to Father Piat hoping that he 
might live and die in his Huron mission at 
Carhagouha. There is no record of his so- 
journ in Huronia during the winter 1624-25. 
Alone among the savages, with a scant know- 
ledge of their language, his spirit must have 
been oppressed with a burden almost too 
great to be borne ; he must have longed for 
the companionship of men of his own language 
and faith. At any rate, in the early summer 
of 1625 he had set out for Quebec with a 
party of trading Hurons for the purpose of 
spending some time in retreat at the residence 
on the banks of the St Charles. He was 
never to reach his destination. On arriving 


at the Riviere des Prairies, his Indian con- 
ductors, instead of portaging their canoes 
past the treacherous rapids in this river, had 
attempted to run them, and a disaster had 
followed. The canoe bearing Father Viel and 
a young Huron convert named Ahaustic (the 
Little Fish) had been overturned and both 
had been drowned. 1 

The story brought to Cape Victory was that 
the tragedy had been due to the treacherous 
conduct of three evil-hearted Hurons who 
coveted the goods the priest had with him. 
On the advice of the traders, who feared that 
the Hurons were in no spirit to receive the 
missionaries, Brebeuf and Daillon concluded 
not to attempt the ascent of the Ottawa for 
the present, and returned to Quebec. Ten 
years later, such a report would not have 
moved Brebeuf to turn back, but would have 
been an added incentive to press forward. 

1 This rapid has since been known as Sault au Recollet and a 
village near by bears the name of Ahuntsic, a corruption of the 
young convert's name. Father A. E. Jones, S.J., in his Old 
Huronia (Ontario Archives), points out that no such word as 
Ahuntsic could find a place in a Huron vocabulary. 



THE Jesuits, with the exception of Brbeuf, 
spent the winter of 1625-26 at the convent of 
the Recollets, no doubt enduring privation, 
as at that time there was a scarcity of food 
in the colony. Brebeuf, eager to study the 
Indians in their homes, joined a party of 
Montagnais hunters and journeyed with them 
to their wintering grounds. He suffered much 
from hunger and cold, and from the insanitary 
conditions under which he was compelled to 
live in the filthy, smoky, vermin-infested 
abodes of the savages. But an iron constitu- 
tion stood him in good stead, and he rejoined 
his fellow-missionaries none the worse for his 
experience. He had acquired, too, a fair 
knowledge of the Montagnais dialect, and had 
learned that boldness, courage, and fortitude 
in suffering went far towards 'winning the re- 
spect of the savages of North America. 
On the $th of July the eyes of the colonists 
J.M. B 


at Quebec were gladdened by the sight of a 
fleet of vessels coming up the river. These 
were the supply-ships of the company, and on 
the Catherine, a vessel of two hundred and 
fifty tons, was Champlain, on whom the 
Jesuits could depend as a friend and pro- 
tector. In the previous autumn Lalemant 
had selected a fertile tract of land on the left 
side of the St Charles, between the river 
Beauport and the stream St Michel, as a 
suitable spot for a permanent home, and 
had sent a request to Champlain to secure this 
land for the Jesuits. Champlain had laid the 
request before the viceroy and he now brought 
with him the official documents granting the 
land. Nine days later a vessel of eighty tons 
arrived with supplies and reinforcements for 
the mission. On this vessel came Fathers 
Philibert Noyrot and Anne de Noue, with a 
lay brother and twenty labourers and car- 

The Jesuits chose a site for the buildings 
at a bend in the St Charles river a mile or so 
from the fort. Here, opposite Pointe-aux- 
Lievres (Hare Point), on a sloping meadow 
two hundred feet from the river, they cleared 
the ground and erected two buildings one to 
serve as a storehouse, stable, workshop, and 


bakery ; the other as the residence. The resi- 
dence had four rooms a chapel, a refectory 
with cells for the fathers, a kitchen, and a 
lodging-room for the workmen. It had, too, 
a commodious cellar, and a garret which served 
as a dormitory for the lay brothers. The 
buildings were of roughly hewn planks, the 
seams plastered with mud and the roofs 
thatched with grass from the meadow. Such 
was Notre-Dame-des-Anges. In this humble 
abode men were to be trained to carry the 
Cross in the Canadian wilderness, and from 
it they were to go forth for many years in an 
unbroken line, blazing the way for explorers 
and traders and settlers. 

Almqst simultaneously with the arrival of 
Noyrot and Noue a flotilla of canoes laden 
deep with furs came down from the Huron 
country. Brebeuf had made up his mind to 
go to far Huronia ; Noue and the Recollet 
Daillon had the same ambition ; and all three 
besought the Hurons to carry them on the 
return journey. The Indians expressed a 
readiness to give the Recollet Daillon a 
passage ; they knew the grey-robes ; but they 
did not know the Jesuits, the black-robes, and 
they hesitated to take Brebeuf and Noue, 
urging as an excuse that so portly a man as 


Brebeuf would be in danger of upsetting their 
frail canoes. By a liberal distribution of 
presents, however, the Hurons were persuaded 
to accept Brebeuf and Noue as passengers. 

Towards the end of July, just when pre- 
parations were being made to break ground 
for the residence of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, 
the three fathers and some French assistants 
set out with the Hurons on the long journey 
to the shores of Georgian Bay. Brebeuf was 
in a state of ecstasy. He longed for the 
populous towns of the Hurons. He had con- 
fidence in himself and believed that he would 
be able to make the dwellers in these towns 
followers of Christ and bulwarks of France in 
the New World. For twenty- three years he 
was to devote his life to this task ; for twenty- 
three years, save for the brief interval when 
the English flag waved over Quebec, he was 
to dominate the Huron mission. He was a 
striking figure* Of noble ancestry, almost a 
giant in stature, and with a soldierly bearing 
that attracted all observers, he would have 
shone at the court of the king or at the 
head of the army. But he had sacrificed a 
worldly career for the Church. And no man 
of his ancestors, one of whom had battled 
under William the Conqueror at Hastings 


and others in the Crusades, ever bore himself 
more nobly than did Brebeuf in the forests 
of Canada, or covered himself with a greater 

The journey was beset with danger, for the 
Iroquois were on the war-path against the 
Hurons and the French, and had attacked 
settlers even in the vicinity of Quebec. The 
lot of the voyagers was incessant toil. They 
had to paddle against the current, to haul the 
canoes over stretches where the water was 
too swift for paddling, and to portage past 
turbulent rapids and falls. The missionaries 
were forced to bear their share of the work. 
Noue, no longer young, was frequently faint 
from toil. Brebeuf not only sustained him, 
but at many of the portages, of which there 
were thirty-five in all, carried a double load 
of baggage. The packs contained not only 
clothing and food, but priestly vestments, 
requisites for the altar, pictures, wine for the 
Mass, candles, books, and writing material. 
The course lay over the route which Le 
Caron had followed eleven years before, up 
the Ottawa, up the Mattawa, across the 
portage to Lake Nipissing, and then down the 
French River. Arrived in Penetanguishene 
Bay, they landed at a village called Otouacha. 


They then journeyed a mile and a half in- 
land, through gloomy forests, past cultivated 
patches of maize, beans, pumpkins, squashes, 
and sunflowers, to Toanche, where they found 
Viel's cabin still standing. For three years 
this was to be Brebeuf's headquarters. 

Huronia lay in what is now the county of 
Simcoe, Ontario, comprising the present town- 
ships of Tiny, Tay, Flos, Medonte, and Oro. 
On the east and north lay Lakes Simcoe and 
Couchiching, the Severn river, and Matche- 
dash Bay ; on the west, Nottawasaga Bay. 
Across the bay, or by land a journey of about 
two days, where now are Bruce and Grey 
counties, lived the Petuns, and about five days 
to the south-west, the Neutrals. The latter 
tribe occupied both the Niagara and Detroit 
peninsulas, overflowed into the states of 
Michigan and New York, and spread north 
as far as Goderich and Oakville in Ontario. 
All these nations, and the Andastes of the 
lower Susquehanna, were of the same lin- 
guistic stock as the Iroquois who dwelt south 
of Lake Ontario. Peoples speaking the Huron- 
Iroquois tongue thus occupied the central 
part of the eastern half of North America, 
while all around them, north, south, east, and 


west, roamed the tribes speaking dialects of 
the Algonquin. 

Most of the Huron 1 towns were encircled 
by log palisades. The houses were of various 
sizes and some of them were more than 
two hundred feet long. They were built in 
the crudest fashion. Two rows of sturdy 
saplings were stuck in the ground about 
twenty-five feet apart, then bent to meet so 
as to form an arch, and covered with bark. 
An open strip was left in the roof for the 
escape of smoke and for light. Each house 
sheltered from six to a dozen families, accord- 
ing to the number of fires. Two families 
shared each fire, and around the fire in winter 
clustered children, dogs, youths, gaily decor- 
ated maidens, jabbering squaws, and tooth- 
less, smoke-blinded old men. Privacy there 
was none. Along the sides of the cabin, about 
four feet from the ground, extended raised 

1 The name Huron is of uncertain origin. The word Huron 
was used in France as early as 1358 to describe the uncouth 
peasants who revolted against the nobility. But according to 
Father Charles Lalemant, a French sailor, on first beholding 
some Hurons at Tadoussac in 1600, was astonished at their 
fantastic way of dressing their hair in stiff ridges with shaved 
furrows between and exclaimed 'Quelles huresl' what boar- 
heads 1 In their own language they were known as Ouendats 
(dwellers on a peninsula), a name still extant in the corrupted 
form Wyandots. 


platforms, on or under which, according to 
the season or the inclination of the individual, 
the inmates slept. 

The Huron nation was divided into four 
clans the Bear, the Rock, the Cord, the Deer 
with several small dependent groups. There 
was government of a sort, republican in form. 
They had their deliberative assemblies, both 
village and tribal. The village councils met 
almost daily, but the tribal assembly a sort 
of states-general was summoned only when 
some weighty measure demanded considera- 
tion. Decisions arrived at in the assemblies 
were proclaimed by the chiefs. 

Of religion as it is understood by Christians 
the Hurons had none, nothing but super- 
stitions, very like those of other barbarous 
peoples. To everything in nature they gave 
a god ; trees, lakes, streams, the celestial 
bodies, the blue expanse, they deified with 
okies or spirits. Among the chief objects of 
Huron worship were the moon and the sun. 
The oki of the moon had the care of souls 
and the power to cut off life ; the oki of the 
sun presided over the living and sustained all 
created things. The great vault of heaven 
with its myriad stars inspired them with awe ; 
it was the abode of the spirit of spirits, the 


Master of Life. Aronhia was the name they 
gave this supreme oki. This would show 
that they had a vague conception of God. 
To Aronhia they offered sacrifices, to Aronhia 
they appealed in time of danger, and when 
misfortune befell them it was due to the anger 
of Aronhia. But all this had no influence on 
their conduct ; even in their worship they 
were often astoundingly vicious. 

To such dens of barbarism had come men 
fresh from the civilization of the Old World 
men of learning, culture, and gentle birth, in 
whose veins flowed the proudest blood of 
France. To these savages, indolent, super- 
stitious, and vicious, had come Brebeuf, 
Noue, and Daillon, with a message of peace, 
goodwill, and virtue. 

Until the middle of October the three 
fathers lived together at Toanche, save that 
Daillon went on a brief visit to Ossossane, 
on the shore of Nottawasaga Bay. The 
Recollet, however, had instructions from his 
superior Le Caron to go to the country of 
the Neutrals, of which Champlain's interpreter, 
litienne Brule, had reported glowingly, but 
which was as yet untrodden by the feet of 
missionaries. And so on the i8th of October 


1626 Daillon set out on the trail southward, 
with two French traders as interpreters, 
and an Indian guide. Arriving among the 
Neutrals, after a journey of five or six days, 
he was at first kindly received in each of 
the six towns which he visited. But this 
happy situation was not to last. The Neutral 
country, now the richest and most populous 
part of Ontario, boasting such cities as 
Hamilton and Brantford and London, was 
rich in fur-bearing animals and tobacco ; and 
the Hurons were the middlemen in trade 
between the Neutrals and the French. The 
Hurons, fearing now that they were about to 
lose their business for it was rumoured that 
Daillon was seeking to have the Neutrals 
trade directly with the French sent mes- 
sengers to the Neutrals denouncing the grey- 
robe as a sorcerer who had come to destroy 
them with disease and death. In this the 
Neutral medicine-men agreed, for they were 
jealous of the priest. The plot succeeded. 
The Indians turned from Daillon, closed their 
doors against him, stole his writing-desk, 
blanket, breviary, and trinkets, and even 
threatened bim with death. But Brebeuf 
learned of his plight, probably from one of 
the Hurons who had raised the Neutrals 


against him, and sent a Frenchman and an 
Indian runner to escort him back to Toanche. 

There was a break in the mission in 1627. 
Noue lacked the physical strength and the 
mental alertness essential to a missionary 
in these wilds. Finding himself totally un- 
able to learn even the rudiments of the Huron 
language, he returned to Quebec, since he did 
not wish to be a burden to Brebeuf. For a 
year longer Brebeuf and the Recollet Daillon 
remained together at Toanche. But in the 
autumn of 1628 Daillon left Huronia. He was 
the last of the Recollets to minister to the 

Save for his French hired men, or engages, 
Brebeuf was now alone among the savage 
people. In this awful solitude he laboured 
with indomitable will, ministering to his 
flock, studying the Huron language, compiling 
a Huron dictionary and grammar, and trans- 
lating the Catechism. The Indians soon saw 
in him a friend ; and, when he passed through 
the village ringing his bell, old and young 
followed him to his cabin to hear him tell of 
God, of heaven the reward of the good, and 
of hell the eternal abode of the unrighteous. 
But he made few converts. The Indian idea 
of the future had nothing in common with the 


Christian idea. The Hurons, it is true, be- 
lieved in a future state, but it was to be only 
a reflex of the present life, with the difference 
that it would give them complete freedom 
from work and suffering, abundant game, 
and an unfailing supply of tobacco. 

Brebeuf 's one desire now was to live and die 
among this people. But the colony at Quebec 
was in a deplorable condition, as he knew, and 
he was not surprised when, early in the 
summer of 1629, he received a message re- 
questing his presence there. Gathering his 
flock about him he told them that he must 
leave them. They had as a sign of affection 
given him the Huron name Echon. Now 
Christian and pagan alike cried out : ' You 
must not leave us, Echon ! ' He told them 
that he had to obey the order of his superior, 
but that f he would, with God's grace, return 
and bring with him whatever was necessary 
to lead them to know God and serve Him.' 
Then he bade them farewell ; and, joining a 
flotilla of twelve canoes about to depart for 
Quebec, he and his engages set out. They 
arrived at Notre-Dame-des-Anges on the I7th 
of July, to find the Jesuits there in consterna- 
tion at the rumoured report of the approach 
of a strong English fleet. 




CHARLES LALEMANT, superior of the Jesuit 
mission, had no sooner landed on the shores 
of New France than he became convinced 
that the mission and the colony itself were 
doomed unless there should be a radical 
change in the government. The Caens were 
thoroughly selfish. While discouraging settle- 
ment and agriculture, they so inadequately 
provided for the support of the colony that 
the inhabitants often lacked food. But the 
gravest evil, in Lalemant's mind, was the 
presence of so many Huguenots. The differ- 
ences in belief were puzzling to the Indians, 
who naturally supposed that different sets of 
white men had different gods. True, the 
Calvinist traders troubled little with religion. 
To them the red man was a mere trapper, 
a gatherer of furs ; and whether he shaped 
his course for the happy hunting ground 
of his fathers or to the paradise of the 


Christian mattered nothing. But they were 
wont to plague the Jesuits and Recollets at 
every opportunity ; as when the crews of the 
ships at Quebec would lift up their voices 
in psalms purposely to annoy the priests at 
their devotions. Lalemant, an alert-minded 
ecclesiastic, came to a swift decision. The 
trading monopoly of the Huguenots must be 
ended and a new company must be created, 
with power to exclude Calvinists from New 
France. To this end Lalemant sent Father 
Noyrot to France in 1626, to lay the whole 
matter before the viceroy of New France. 
But from the Due de Ventadour Noyrot got 
no satisfaction ; the viceroy could not inter- 
fere. And Louis XIII was too busy with 
other matters to listen to the Jesuit's prayer. 
The king's chief adviser, however, Cardinal 
Richelieu, then at the height of his power, 
lent a sympathetic ear. The Huguenots were 
then in open rebellion in France ; Richelieu 
was having trouble enough with them at 
home ; and it was not hard to convince him 
that they should be suppressed in New France. 
He decided to annul the charter of the Caens 
and to establish instead a strong company 
composed entirely of Catholics. To this task 
he promptly set himself, and soon had en- 


listed in the enterprise over a hundred in- 
fluential and wealthy men of the realm. 
The Company of New France, or, as it is 
better known, the Company of One Hundred 
Associates, thus came into being on April 29, 
1627, with the great Richelieu at its head. 

The One Hundred Associates were granted 
in feudal tenure a wide domain stretching, in 
intention at least, from Florida to the Arctic 
Circle and from Newfoundland to the sources 
of the St Lawrence, with a monopoly of 
the fur trade and other powers practically 
unlimited. For these vast privileges they 
covenanted to send to Canada from two 
to three hundred colonists in 1628 and four 
thousand within the next fifteen years ; to 
lodge, feed, and support the colonists for 
three years ; and then to give them cleared 
land and seed-grain. Most interesting, how- 
ever, to the Jesuits and Recollets were the 
provisions in the charter of the new company 
to the effect that none but Catholics should 
be allowed to come to the colony, and that 
during fifteen years the company should 
defray the expenses of public worship and 
support three missionaries at each trading- 

Now began the preparations on a great 


scale for the colonization of New France. 
By the spring of 1628 a fleet of eighteen or 
twenty ships belonging to the company 
assembled in the harbour of Dieppe, laden 
deep with food, building materials, imple- 
ments, guns, and ammunition, including about 
one hundred and fifty pieces of ordnance for 
the forts at the trading-posts. Out into the 
English Channel one bright April day this 
fleet swept, under the command of Claude de 
Roquemont, one of the Associates. On the 
decks of the ships were men and women 
looking hopefully to the New World for for- 
tune and happiness, and Recollets and Jesuits 
going to a field at this time deemed broad 
enough for the energies of both. Lalemant, 
who early in 1627 had followed Noyrot to 
France, was now returning to his mission with 
his hopes realized. A Catholic empire could 
be built up in the New World, the savages 
could be christianized, and the Iroquois, the 
greatest menace of the colony, if they would 
not listen to reason, could be subdued. The 
Dutch and the English on the Atlantic sea- 
board could be kept within bounds ; possibly 
driven from the continent ; then the whole 
of North America would be French and 
Catholic. Thus, perhaps, dreamed Lalemant 


From the John Ross Robertson Collection, Toronto Public Library 


and his companions, the Jesuit Paul Rague- 
neau and the Recollets Daniel Boursier and 
Francois Girard, as they paced the deck of 
the vessel that bore them westward. 

But there was a lion in the path. The 
revolt of the Huguenots of La Rochelle had 
led to war between France and England, and 
this gave Sir William Alexander (Earl of 
Stirling) the chance he desired. In 1621 
Alexander had received from James I a grant 
of Nova Scotia or Acadia, and this grant 
had been renewed later by Charles I. And 
it was Alexander's ambition to drive the 
French not only from their posts in Acadia 
but from the whole of North America. To 
this end he formed a company under the 
name of the Adventurers of Canada. One 
of its leading members was Gervase Kirke, a 
wealthy London merchant, who had married 
a Huguenot maiden, Elizabeth Goudon or 
Gowding of Dieppe. Now when war broke 
out the Adventurers equipped three staunch 
privateers. Captain David Kirke, the eldest 
son of Gervase, commanded the flagship 
Abigail, and his brothers, Lewis and Thomas, 
the other two ships. The fleet, though small, 
was well suited for the work in hand. While 
making ready for sea the Adventurers learned 

J.M. C 


of the much larger fleet of the One Hundred 
Associates ; but they learned, too, that the 
vessels were chiefly transports, of little use in 
a sea-fight. David Kirke was, on the other 
hand, equipped to fight, and he bore letters 
of marque from the king of England author- 
izing him to capture and destroy any French 
vessels and ' utterly to drive away and root 
out the French settlements in Nova Scotia 
and Canada.' The omens were evil for New 
France when, early in the spring of 1628, 
the Kirkes weighed anchor and shaped their 
course for her shores. 

The English privateersmen arrived in the 
St Lawrence in July and took up their head- 
quarters at Tadoussac. Already they had 
captured several Basque fishing or trading 
vessels. At Tadoussac they learned that at 
Cap Tourmente, thirty miles below Quebec, 
there was a small farm from which the garri- 
son of Quebec drew supplies ; and, as a first 
effort to ' root out ' the French, David Kirke 
decided to loot and destroy this supply-post. 
A number of his crew went in a fishing-boat, 
took the place by surprise, captured its guard, 
plundered it, and killed the cattle. When his 
men returned from the raid, Kirke dispatched 
six of his Basque prisoners, with a woman and 


a little girl, to Quebec. By one of them he 
sent a letter to Champlain, demanding the 
surrender of the place in most polite terms. 
' By surrendering courteously,' he wrote, 
' you may be assured of all kind of content- 
ment, both for your persons and your property, 
which, on the faith I have in Paradise, I will 
preserve as I would mine own, without the 
least portion in the world being diminished.' 

Champlain replied to Kirke's demand with 
equal courtesy, but bluntly refused to sur- 
render. In his letter to the English captain 
he said that the fort was still provided with 
grain, maize, beans, and pease, which his 
soldiers loved as well as the finest corn in the 
world, and that by surrendering the fort in so 
good a condition, he should be unwprthy to 
appear before his sovereign, and should de- 
serve chastisement before God and men. As 
a matter of fact this was untrue, for the 
French at Quebec were starving and incap- 
able of resistance. A single well-directed 
broadside would have brought Champlain's 
ramshackle fort tumbling about his ears. 
His bold front, however, served its purpose 
for the time being ; Kirke decided to post- 
pone the attack on Quebec and to turn his 
attention to Roquemont's fleet. He burned 


the captured vessels and plundered and de- 
stroyed the trading-post at Tadoussac, and 
then sailed seaward in search of the rich prize. 
I^irke had three ships ; the French had 
eighteen. Numerically Kirke was outclassed, 
but he knew that the enemy's fleet was com- 
posed chiefly of small, weakly armed vessels. 
Learning that Roquemont was in the vicinity 
of Gaspe Bay, he steered thither under a 
favouring west wind. And as the Abigail 
rounded Gaspe Point the English captain saw 
the waters in the distance thickly dotted with 
sail. Dare he attack ? Three to eighteen ! 
It was hazarding much ; and yet victory 
would bring its reward. Kirke was a cautious 
commander ; and, desiring if possible to gain 
his end without loss, he summoned the French 
captain to surrender. In answer Roquemont 
boldly hoisted sail and beat out into the open. 
But despite this defiant attitude Roquemont 
must have feared the result of a battle. Many 
of his ships could give no assistance ; even his 
largest were in no condition to fight. Most 
of the cannon were in the holds of the trans- 
ports, and only a few of small calibre were 
mounted. His vessels, too, overloaded with 
supplies, would be difficult to manoeuvre in 
the light summer wind of which his foe now 


had the advantage. The three English priva- 
teers bore on towards the French merchant- 
men, and when within range opened fire. 
For several hours this long-range firing con- 
tinued. When it proved ineffective, David 
Kirke decided to close in on the enemy. The 
Abigail crept up to within pistol-shot of 
Roquemont's ship, swept round her stern, and 
poured in a raking broadside. While the 
French sailors were still in a state of confusion 
from the iron storm that had beaten on their 
deck, the English vessel rounded to and threw 
out grappling-irons. Over the side of the 
French ship leaped Kirke 's pikemen and 
musketeers. There was a short fight on the 
crowded deck ; but after Roquemont had been 
struck down with a wound in his foot and some 
of his sailors had been killed, he surrendered 
to avert further bloodshed. Meanwhile, Lewis 
and Thomas Kirke had been equally success- 
ful in capturing the only two other vessels 
capable of offering any serious resistance. 
The clumsy French merchantmen, though 
armed, were no match for the staunchly built, 
well-manned English privateers, and after a 
few sweeping broadsides they, too, struck 
their flags. The remaining craft, incapable 
of fight or flight, surrendered. In this ? the 


first naval engagement in the waters of North 
America, eighteen sail fell into the hands of 
the Kirkes, with a goodly store of supplies, 
ammunition, and guns, Alas for the high 
hopes of Father Lalemant and his fellow- 
missionaries ! all were now prisoners and at 
the mercy of the English and the Huguenots. 
Having more vessels than he could man, 
Kirke unloaded ten of the smallest and burned 
them. He then sailed homeward with his 
prizes, calling on his way at St Pierre Island, 
where he left a number of his prisoners, among 
them the Recollet fathers, and at Newfound- 
land, where he watered and refitted. When 
the convoy reached England about the end of 
September, great was the rejoicing among the 
Adventurers of Canada. For had they not 
crippled the Romish Company of the One 
Hundred Associates ? And had they not 
gained, at the same time, a tenfold return of 
their money ? 

Meanwhile Quebec was in grave peril. The 
colony faced starvation. There were no 
vessels on which Champlain with his garri- 
son and the missionaries could leave New 
France even had he so desired, and there 
were slight means of resisting the savage 
Iroquois. Yet with dogged courage Cham- 


plain accepted the situation, hoping that 
relief would come before the ice formed in 
the St Lawrence. 

But no relief was there to be this year for 
the anxious watchers at Quebec. On reach- 
ing England Lalemant had regained his 
liberty, and had hastened to France. He 
found that Father Noyrot had a vessel fitted 
out with supplies for the Canadian mission, 
and decided to return to Canada with Noyrot 
on this vessel. But nature as well as man 
seemed to be battling against the Jesuits. 
As they neared the Gulf of St Lawrence a 
fierce gale arose, and the ship was driven out 
of its course and dashed to pieces on the 
rocky shores of Acadia near the island of 
Canseau. Fourteen of the passengers, includ- 
ing Noyrot and a lay brother, Louis Malot, 
were drowned. Lalemant escaped with his 
life, and took passage on a trading vessel 
for France. This ship, too, was wrecked, near 
San Sebastian in the Bay of Biscay, and 
again Lalemant narrowly escaped death. 

Meanwhile the English Adventurers were 
full of enthusiasm over the achievement of the 
Kirkes. The work, however, was not yet 
finished. The French trading-posts in Acadia 
and on the St Lawrence must be utterly de- 


stroyed. By March 1629 a fleet much more 
powerful than the one of the previous year was 
ready for sea. It consisted of the Abigail, 
Admiral David Kirke, the William, Captain 
Lewis Kirke, the George, Captain Thomas 
Kirke, the Gervase, Captain Brewerton, two 
other ships, and three pinnaces. On the 
25th of March it sailed from Gravesend, and 
on the 1 5th of June reached Gaspe Bay with- 
out mishap. All save two of the vessels were 
now sent to destroy the trading-posts on the 
shores of Acadia, while David Kirke, with the 
Abigail and a sister ship, sailed for Tadoussac, 
which was to be his headquarters during the 
summer. The raiders did their work and 
arrived at Tadoussac early in July. Kirke 
then detached the William and the George and 
sent them to Quebec under the pilotage of 
French traitors. 

At Quebec during the winter the inhabitants 
had lived on pease, Indian corn, and eels 
which they obtained from the natives ; and 
when spring came all who had sufficient 
strength had gone to the forest to gather 
acorns and nourishing roots. The gunpowder 
was almost exhausted, and the dilapidated 
fort could not be held by its sixteen half- 
starved defenders. Accordingly Champlain 


sent the Recollet Daillon, who had a know- 
ledge of the English language, to negotiate 
with the Kirkes the terms of capitulation; 
and Quebec surrendered without a shot being 
fired. For the time being perished the hopes 
of the indomitable Champlain, who for twenty- 
one years had wrought and fought and prayed 
that Quebec might become the bulwark of 
French power in America. On the 22nd of 
July the fleur-de-lis was hauled down from 
Fort St Louis to give place to the cross of 
St George. The officers of the garrison were 
treated with consideration and allowed to 
keep their arms, clothing, and any peltry 
which they possessed. To the missionaries, 
however, the Calvinistic victors were not so 
generous. The priests were permitted to 
keep only their robes and books. 

The terms of surrender were ratified by 
David Kirke at Tadoussac on the igth of 
August, and on the following day a hundred 
and fifty English soldiers took possession of 
the town and fort. Such of the inhabitants 
as did not elect to remain in the colony and 
all the missionaries were marched on board 
the waiting vessels 1 and taken to Tadoussac, 

1 There were in all eighty-five persons in the colony, thirty 
of whom remained. The rest were taken prisoners to England; 


where they remained for some weeks while 
the English were making ready for the home 

There were many Huguenots serving under 
the Kirkes, and the Huguenots, as we have 
seen, were bitterly hostile to the Jesuits. On 
the voyage to England Brebeuf, Noue, and 
Masse had to bear insult and harsh treatment 
from men of their own race, but of another 
faith. And they bore it bravely, confident 
that God in His good time would restore them 
to their chosen field of labour. 

The vessels reached Plymouth on the 2oth 
of November, to learn that the capture of 
Quebec had taken place in time of peace. The 
Convention of Susa had ended the war be- 
tween France and England on April 24, 1629 ; 
thus the achievement of the Adventurers 
was wasted. Three years later, by the Treaty 
of St Germain - en - Laye, the Adventurers 
were forced not only to restore the posts 
captured in North America, but to pay a 
sum to the French for the property seized 
at Quebec. 

Towards the end of November the mission- 

these included the Jesuit fathers Ennemond Masse, Anne de 
Noue, and Jean de Brebeuf; the Recollet fathers Joseph Le 
Caron and Joseph de la Roche de Daillon ; and several lay 
brothers of both orders. 


aries, both Recollets and Jesuits, left the 
English fleet at Dover roads, and proceeded 
to their various colleges in France, patiently 
to await the time when they should be per- 
mitted to return to Canada. 




AFTER the Treaty of St Germain-en-Laye, 
which restored to France all the posts in 
America won by the Adventurers of Canada, 
the French king took steps to repossess 
Quebec. But, by way of compensation to 
the Cae'ns for their losses in the war, Emery de 
Caen was commissioned to take over the post 
from the Kirkes and hold it for one year, with 
trading rights. Accordingly, in April 1632, 
Caen sailed frpm Honfleur ; and he carried a 
dispatch under the seal of Charles I, king of 
England, addressed to Lewis Kirke at Quebec, 
commanding him to surrender the captured 

On the 5th of July the few French in- 
habitants at Quebec broke out into wild cries 
of joy as they saw Caen's ship approaching 
under full sail, at its peak the white flag 
sprinkled with golden lilies ; and when they 
learned that the vessel brought two Jesuit 

From a painting in the House of the Immaculate Conception, Montreal 


fathers, their hearts swelled with inexpressible 
rapture. During the three years of English 
possession the Catholics had been without 
priests, and they hungered for their accus- 
tomed forms of worship. The priests now 
arriving were Paul Le Jeune, the new superior- 
general, and Anne de Noue, with a lay brother, 
Gilbert Burel. They hastened ashore ; and 
were followed by the inhabitants to the home 
of the widow Hebert, the only substantial 
residence in the colony, where, in the cere- 
mony of the Mass, they celebrated the renewal 
of the Canadian mission. 

Quebec was in a sad condition. The 
English, knowing of the negotiations for its 
return to the French, had left the ground 
uncultivated and the buildings in ruins. The 
missionaries found the residence of Notre- 
Dame-des-Anges plundered and partly de- 
stroyed ; but they went to work cheerfully 
to restore it, and before autumn it was quite 
habitable. Meanwhile Le Jeune had begun 
his labours tentatively as a teacher. His 
pupils were an Indian lad and a little negro, 
the latter a present from the English to 
Madame Hebert. The class grew larger ; 
during the winter a score of children answered 
the call of Le Jeune's bell, and sat at his feet 


learning the Credo, the Ave, and the Pater- 
noster, which he had translated into Algon- 
quin rhymes. In order to learn the Indian 
language Le Jeune was himself a pupil, his 
teacher a Montagnais named Pierre, a worth- 
less wretch who had been in France and had 
learned some French. Le Jeune passed the 
winter of 1632-33 in teaching, studying, and 
ministering to the inhabitants at the trading- 
post. Save for a short period, he had the 
companionship of Noue, a devoted missionary, 
eager to play his part in the field, but, as 
we have seen, without the necessary vigour of 
mind or body. Though Noue had failed in 
Huronia, he thought he might succeed on the 
St Lawrence. And in the autumn, just as 
the first snows were beginning to whiten the 
ground, when a band of friendly Montagnais, 
encamped near the residence, invited him to 
their wintering grounds, he bade farewell to 
Le Jeune and vanished with the Indians into 
the northern forest. But the rigours of the 
wigwams were too much for him, and after 
three weeks he returned to Notre-Dame-des- 
Anges in an exhausted condition. 

In the meantime the Hundred Associates 
were getting ready to enter into the enjoy- 
ment of their Canadian domain, but now 


without the hopeful ardour and exalted pur- 
pose which had characterized their first ill- 
fated expedition. The guiding hand in the 
revival of the colony, under the feudal 
suzerainty of Richelieu's company, was Cham- 
plain. He was appointed on March I, 1633, 
lieutenant-general in New France, ' with juris- 
diction throughout all the extent of the St 
Lawrence and other rivers.' Twenty -three 
days later he sailed from Dieppe with three 
armed ships, the St Pierre, the St Jean, and 
the Don de Dieu. These ships carried two 
hundred persons, among them the Jesuit 
fathers Jean de Brebeuf and Ennemond 
Masse. At Cape Breton they were joined by 
two more Jesuits, Antoine Daniel and Am- 
broise Davost, who had gone there the year 

There were no Recollets in the company, 
for, greatly to their disappointment, the 
Recollets were now barred from the colony. 
For this the Jesuits have been unjustly 
blamed. It was, however, wholly due to 
the policy of the Hundred Associates. At 
one of their meetings Jean de Lauzon, the 
president, afterwards a governor of New 
France, formally protested against the return 
of the Recollets. The Associates desired 


to economize, and did not wish to support 
two religious orders in the colony ; and so the 
mendicant Recollets were excluded. 

The vessels appeared at Quebec on the 
23rd of May, and landed their passengers 
amid shouts of welcome from the settlers, 
soldiers, and Indians. Presently Champlain's 
lieutenant, Duplessis-Bochart, on behalf of 
the Hundred Associates, received the keys 
of the fort and habitation from Emery de 
Caen ; and at that moment ended the regime 
of the Huguenot traders in Canada. Thence- 
forth, whether for good or for evil, New 
France was to be Catholic. 

During the English occupation the Indians 
had almost ceased to visit Quebec. At first 
the fickle savages had welcomed the invaders, 
for they ever favoured a winner, and had 
thronged about the fort, expecting presents 
galore from the strong people who had ousted 
the French. But instead of presents the 
English gave them only kicks and curses ; 
and so they held aloof. Now, however, on 
hearing that Champlain had returned, the 
Indian dwellers along the Ottawa river and 
in Huronia flocked to the post. Hardly 
more than two months after his arrival, a 
fleet of a hundred and forty canoes, with 


about seven hundred Indians, swept with the 
ebb tide to the base of the rock that frowned 
above the habitation and the dilapidated ware- 
houses. Drawing their heavily laden craft 
ashore, the chiefs greeted Champlain and pro- 
ceeded to set up their camp-huts on the strand. 
Among them were many warriors, now grown 
old, who had been with him in the attack on 
the Iroquois in 1615. There were some, too, 
who had listened to the teaching of Brebeuf. 
For the eager missionaries this was an oppor- 
tunity not to be lost ; and, resolved to go 
up with the Hurons, who willingly assented, 
Brebeuf, Daniel, and Davost got ready for 
the journey to Huronia. On the eve of de- 
parture the three missionaries brought their 
packs to the strand, and lodged for the night 
in the traders' storehouse, hard by the In- 
dian encampment. But they had an enemy 
abroad. All in this party were not Hurons ; 
some were Ottawas from Allumette Island, 
under a one-eyed chief, Le Borgne. This 
wily redskin wished for trouble between the 
Hurons and the French, in order that his tribe 
might get a monopoly of the Ottawa route, 
and carry all the goods from the nations above 
down to the St Lawrence. At this time an 
Algonquin of La Petite Nation, a tribe living 

J.M. D 


south of Allumette Island, was held at Quebec 
for murdering a Frenchman. His friends 
were seeking his release ; but Champlain 
deemed his execution necessary as a lesson 
to the Indians. Le Borgne rose to the occa- 
sion. He went among the Hurons, urging 
them to refuse passage to the Jesuits, warning 
them that, since Champlain would not pardon 
the Algonquin, it would be dangerous to take 
the black -robes with them. The angry 
tribesmen of the murderer would surely lay 
in wait for the canoes, the black-robes would 
be slain or made prisoners, and there would 
be war on the Hurons too. The argument 
was effective ; Champlain would not release 
the prisoner ; and the Jesuits were forced to 
return to their abode, while the Indians em- 
barked and disappeared. 

There were now six fathers at Notre-Dame- 
des-Anges. They kept incessantly active, 
improving their residence, cultivating the soil, 
studying the Indian languages, and minister- 
ing to the settlers and to the red men who had 
pitched their wigwams along the St Charles 
and the St Lawrence in the vicinity of Quebec. 
In spite of Noue's failure among the Mon- 
tagnais, the courageous Le Jeune resolved per- 
sonally to study the Indian problem at first 


hand ; and in the autumn of 1633 he joined 
a company of redskins going to their hunting 
ground on the upper St John. During five 
months among these savages he suffered from 
' cold, heat, smoke, and dogs,' and bore in 
silence the foul language of a medicine-man 
who made the missionary's person and teach- 
ings subjects of mirth. At times, too, he 
was on the verge of death from hunger. Early 
in the spring he returned to Quebec, after 
having narrowly escaped drowning as he 
crossed the ice-laden St Lawrence in a frail 
canoe. He had made no converts ; but he 
had gained valuable experience. It was now 
more evident than ever that among the roving 
Algonquins the mission could make little 

In 1634 the Hurons visited the colony in 
small numbers, for Iroquois scalping parties 
haunted the trails, and a pestilence had played 
havoc in the Huron villages. Those who 
came to trade this year gathered at Three 
Rivers ; and thither went Brebeuf, Daniel, 
and Davost to seek once more a passage to 
Huronia. The Indians at first stolidly refused 
to take them ; but at length, after a liberal 
distribution of presents, the three priests and 
four engages were permitted to embark, each 


priest in a separate canoe. They had the 
usual rough experiences. Davost and Daniel, 
who had no acquaintance with the Huron 
language, fared worse than Brebeuf. Davost 
was abandoned among the Ottawas of 
Allumette Island, his baggage plundered and 
his books and papers thrown into the river. 
Daniel, too, was deserted by his savage con- 
ductors. Both, however, found means to 
continue the journey. When Brebeuf reached 
Otoiiacha, on the 5th of August, his Indian 
guides, in haste to get to their villages, 
suddenly vanished into the forest. But he 
knew the spot well ; Toanche, his old mission, 
was but a short distance away. Thither he 
hurried, only to find the village in ruins. 
Nothing remained of the cabin in which he 
had spent three years but the charred poles 
of the framework. A well-worn path leading 
through the forest told him that a village 
could not be far distant, and he followed this 
trail till he came to a cluster of cabins. This 
was a new village, Teandeouiata, to which the 
inhabitants of his old Toanche had moved. 
It was twilight as the Indians caught sight 
of the stalwart, black-robed figure emerging 
from the forest, and the shout went up, t Echon 
has come again ! ' Presently all the in- 


habitants were about him shouting and 
gesticulating for joy. 

Daniel and Davost arrived during the 
month, emaciated and exhausted, but re- 
joicing. The missionaries found shelter in 
the spacious cabin of a hospitable Huron, 
Awandoay, where they remained until the 
1 9th of September. Meanwhile they had 
selected the village of Ihonatiria, a ^short 
distance away near the northern extremity 
of the peninsula, as a centre for the mission. 
There a cabin was quickly erected, the men of 
the town of Oenrio vying with the men of 
Teanjdeouiata in the task. This residence, 
called by Brebeuf St Joseph, was thirty-five 
feet long and twenty wide and contained a 
storehouse, a living-room and school, and a 

For three years this humble abode was to 
be the headquarters of the missionaries in 
Huronia. During the first year of the mission 
all went smoothly. To the Indians the fathers 
were medicine-men of extraordinary powers ; 
moreover, the hired men who came with them 
had arquebuses that would be valuable in case 
of attack in force by the Iroquois. Objects 
which the missionaries possessed inspired awe 
in the savages ; a handmill for grinding corn, 


a clock, a magnifying lens, and a picture of 
the Last Judgment were supposed to be okies 
of the white man. For a time eager audiences 
crowded the little cabin. Few converts were 
made, however ; for the present the savages 
were too firmly wedded to their customs and 
superstitions to accept the new okies. Un- 
fortunately, in 1635, a drought smote the land, 
and the medicine-men used this calamity to 
discredit their rivals the black-robes. Accord- 
ing to these fakirs, it was the red cross on the 
Jesuit chapel which frightened away the bird 
of thunder and caused the drought. Brebeuf, 
to disarm suspicion, had the cross painted 
white ; yet the thunder-bird still held aloof, 
and the incantations and drummings of the 
sorcerers availed not to bring rain. Brebeuf 
then advised the Indians to try the effect of 
an appeal to his God. In despair they con- 
sented. A procession was formed and the 
priests said Masses and prayers. The result 
was dramatic. Almost immediately a sudden 
refreshing rain deluged the ground ; the crops 
were saved and the medicine-men humiliated. 
Still, no perceptible religious progress was 
made. Though children came to the residence 
to be instructed by the black-robes, they were 
attracted more by the ' beads, raisins, and 


prunes ' which they received as inducements 
to come back than by the lessons in Christian 
truth. For the most part the elders listened 
attentively to the missionaries, but to the 
question of laying aside their superstitions and 
accepting Christianity they replied : ' It is 
good for the French ; but we are another 
people, with different customs.' 

Winter was the season of greatest trial. 
The cabins, crowded to suffocation, were 
made the scenes of savage mirth and feasting. 
The Hurons were inveterate gamblers ; some- 
times village would challenge village ; and, 
as the game progressed, night would be made 
hideous with the beating of drums and the 
hilarious shouts of the spectators. Feasts 
were frequent, since any occasion afforded an 
excuse for one, and all feasts were accom- 
panied by gluttony and uproar. The Dream 
Feast was a maniacal performance. It was 
agreed upon in a solemn council of the chiefs 
and was made the occasion of great licence. 
The guests would rush about the village 
feigning madness, scattering fire - brands, 
shouting, leaping, smiting with impunity any 
they encountered. Each one would seek some 
object which he pretended to have learned 
about in a dream. Only when this object 


was found would calmness follow ; if it was 
not found, there would be deepest despair. 
Feasts, too, were prescribed by the medicine- 
men as cures for sickness ; the healthy, not 
the sick, would take the medicine, and would 
take it till they were gorged. To leave a 
scrap of food on their platters might mean the 
death of the patient. 

Only one of the social customs of the Hurons 
had any real religious significance. Every 
ten or twelve years the great Feast of the Dead 
took place. It was the custom of the Hurons 
either to place the dead in the earth, covering 
them with rude huts, or, more commonly, on 
elevated platforms. The bodies rested till 
the allotted time for final interment came 
round. Then at some central point an im- 
mense pit would be dug as a common grave. 
In 1636 a Feast of the Dead was held at 
Ossossan6. To this place, from the various 
villages of the Bear clan, Indians came troop- 
ing, wailing mournful funeral songs as they 
bore the recently dead on litters, or the care- 
fully prepared bones of their departed relatives 
in parcels slung over their shoulders. All con- 
verged on the village of Ossossane, where a 
pit ten feet deep by thirty feet wide had been 
dug. There on scaffolds about the pit they 


placed the bodies and bones, carefully wrapped 
in furs and covered with bark. The assembled 
mourners then gave themselves up to feasting 
and games, as a prelude to the final act of this 
drama of death. They lined the pit with 
costly furs and in the centre placed kettles, 
household goods, and weapons for the chase, 
all these, like the bodies and bones, supposed 
to be indwelt by spirits. They laid the dead 
bodies in rows on the floor of the pit, and threw 
the bundles of bones to Indians stationed 
within, who arranged the remains in their 
proper places. 

The Jesuits were witnesses of this weird 
ceremony. They saw the naked Indians going 
about their task in the pit in the glare of 
torches, like veritable imps of hell. It was a 
discouraging scene. But a greater trial than 
the Feast of the Dead was in store for them. 
By a pestilence, a severe form of dysentery, 
Ihonatiria was almost denuded of its popula- 
tion. In consequence the priests, who had 
now been reinforced by the arrival of Fathers 
Francois Le Mercier, Pierre Pi j art, Pierre 
Chastelain, Isaac Jogues, and Charles Gamier, 
had to seek a more populous centre as head- 
quarters for their mission in Huronia. The 
chiefs of Oenrio invited the Jesuits to their 


village. But Brebeuf 's demands were heavy. 
They should believe in God ; keep His com- 
mandments ; abjure their faith in dreams ; 
take one wife and be true to her ; renounce 
their assemblies of debauchery ; eat no human 
flesh ; never give feasts to demons ; and make 
a vow that if God would deliver them from 
the pest they would build a chapel to offer Him 
thanksgiving and praise. They were ready to 
make the vow regarding the chapel, but the 
other conditions were too severe the pest 
was preferable. And so the Jesuits turned to 
Ossossane, where the people agreed to accept 
these conditions. 

Formerly Ossossane had been situated on 
an elevated piece of ground on the shore of 
Nottawasaga Bay ; but the village had been 
moved inland and, under the direction of the 
French, a rectangular wall of posts ten or 
twelve feet high had been built around it. 
At opposite angles of the wall two towers 
guarded the sides. A platform extended 
round the entire wall, from which the de- 
fenders could hurl stones on the heads of an 
attacking party, or could pour water to 
extinguish the blaze if an enemy succeeded 
in setting fire to the palisades. 

Here the Jesuits were to live for two years. 


Outside the walls of the town a commodious 
cabin seventy feet long was built for them ; 
and on June 5, 1637, m tne P ar * o * tne cabin 
consecrated as a chapel, Father Pi j art cele- 
brated Mass. The residence was named La 
Conception de Notre Dame. For a wilderness 
church it was a marvel. At the entrance were 
green boughs adorned with tinsel ; pictures 
hung on the walls ; crucifixes, vessels, and 
ornaments of shining metal ornamented the 
chapel. From far and near Indians flocked 
to see this wondrous edifice. Best of all, a 
leading chief offered himself for baptism. The 
future looked promising ; the Indians showed 
the fathers ' much affection ' and a rich har- 
vest of souls seemed about to be garnered. 

But all this was to be changed. A hunch- 
backed, ogre-like medicine-man who claimed 
to be of miraculous birth came to Ossossane. 
The pest was still raging, and he laid the blame 
for it at the door of the missionaries. Accord- 
ing to him their prayers and litanies were 
charms and incantations ; their pictures were 
evil okies. It was, he declared, by the in- 
fluence of these and other agencies that they 
had spread the pestilence among the Hurons. 
Some of the older and most influential Hurons 
joined with the sorcerer in his denunciation of 


the priests, and soon the inhabitants of the 
whole village turned against them. Squaws 
shut the doors of the cabins at their approach, 
young braves threatened them with death, 
children followed them about hooting and 
pelting them with sticks and stones. At last 
the priests were summoned to a public council 
and openly accused of being the cause of the 
misfortunes that had recently visited the 
Huron people. Brebeuf replied to the accusa- 
tions with unflinching courage, denying the 
charges, and showing their absurdity. He 
then boldly addressed his audience on the 
truths of Christianity, held before them the 
awful future that awaited those who refused 
to obey the words of Christ, and declared that 
the pest was a punishment for their evil lives. 
The council was deeply impressed by his 
courage and evident sincerity, and for the time 
being the lives of the missionaries were in no 
danger. But they knew that at any moment 
the blow might fall, and none ever went abroad 
without the feeling that a tomahawk might 
descend on his unguarded head. 

On October 28, 1637, Brebeuf prepared, as 
he thought, a farewell letter to his friends at 
Quebec. He and the four other missionaries 
at Ossossane signed it and sent it to the 


superior-general Le Jeune. It opens with the 
words : ' We are perhaps on the point of 
shedding our blood and sacrificing our lives 
in the service of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus 
Christ.' There is no note of fear in this 
letter. * If,' it runs, * you should hear that 
God has crowned our labours, or rather our 
desires, with martyrdom, return thanks to 
Him, for it is for Him we wish to live and 
die.' Such was the spirit of these bearers of 
the Cross. Their humility, courage, and dis- 
interestedness kept them for the present from 
' the crown of martyrdom.' But the hunch- 
backed sorcerer continued his agitation and 
the storm once more broke over their heads. 
To show the Indians that he knew their 
hearts, and that he could meet death with the 
stoical courage of one of their own chiefs, 
Brebeuf summoned them to afestin cT adieu 
a farewell feast and while his guests, in 
ominous silence, ate the portions set before 
them he addressed them in burning words. 
He was about to die, but before he departed 
this life he would warn them of the life to 
come. Their resistance to Christ's message, 
their abuse and persecution of Christ's mes- 
sengers, would have to be atoned for in 
eternity. His actions and words took effect. 


Though the sorcerer still schemed, the Jesuits 
went about their labours unscathed, preaching 
to the unregenerate, visiting and caring for 
the sick, and baptizing the dying. 

For a year after the establishing of the 
mission of La Conception at Ossossane three 
fathers Pierre Chastelain, Pierre Pi j art, and 
Isaac Jogues ministered to the remnant of 
the Hurons at Ihonatiria. But the pest was 
still raging, and by the spring of 1638 Ihona- 
tiria was little more than a village of empty 
wigwams. It was useless to remain longer at 
this spot, and the missionaries looked about 
for another field for their energies. The town 
of Teanaostaiae, the largest town of the clan 
of the Cord, about fifteen miles north of the 
present town of Barrie, seemed suitable for a 
central mission. Brebeuf visited the place, 
talked with the inhabitants, met the council of 
the nation, and won its consent to establish a 
residence. In June the mission of St Joseph 
was moved to Teanaostaiae. Before the end 
of the summer Jerome Lalemant, who for the 
next eight years was to be the superior of the 
Huron mission, Simon Le Moyne, and Frangois 
du Peron arrived in Huronia. There was now 
a new distribution of the mission forces, five 
priests under Lalemant 's immediate leader- 


ship taking up their abode at Ossossane, 
while three in charge of Brebeuf settled at 

So far Brebeuf had been the recognized 
leader in Huronia. He had been nobly sup- 
ported by his brother priests and his hired 
men. The residences at both Ihonatiria and 
Ossossane had been kept well supplied with 
food, even better than many of the Indian 
households. Game was scarce in Huronia, 
but the fathers had among their engages an 
expert hunter, Francois Petit- Pre, ever roam- 
ing the forest and the shores in search of game 
to give variety to their table. Robert Le Coq, 
a devoted engage, later a donne, 1 was their 
' negotiator ' or business man. It was Le Coq 
who made the yearly trips to Quebec for sup- 
plies, and who with infinite labour brought 
many heavy burdens over the difficult trails. 
Brebeuf had proved himself essentially an 
enthusiast for souls, a mystic, a spirit crav- 
ing the crown of martyrdom, yet withal a 
man of great tact, and a powerful exemplar 
to his fellow-priests. Lalemant, while lacking 
Brebeuf 's dominating enthusiasm, was a more 
practical man, with great organizing ability. 

1 An unpaid, voluntary assistant whose only remuneration was 
food and clothing, care during illness, and support in old age. 


After viewing the wide and dangerous field to 
be administered, the new superior decided to 
concentrate the separate missions into one 
stronghold of the faith. The site he chose was 
remote from any of the centres of Indian 
population. It was on the eastern bank of 
the river Wye between Mud Lake and Matche- 
dash Bay. Here the missionaries built a 
strong rectangular fort with walls of stone 
surmounted by palisades and with bastions at 
each corner. The interior buildings a chapel, 
a hospital, and dwellings .for the missionaries 
and the engages although of wood, were sup- 
ported on foundations of stone and cement. 

The new mission - house they named Ste 
Marie ; and from this central station the 
missionaries went forth in pairs to the farthest 
parts of Huronia and beyond. The missions 
to the Petuns and the Neutrals, however, 
ended in failure. The Petuns hailed Gamier 
and Jogues as the Famine and the Pest and 
the priests barely escaped with their lives. In 
the following year (1640), when Brebeuf and 
Chaumonot went among the Neutrals, they 
found Huron emissaries there inciting the 
Neutrals to kill the priests. These Hurons, 
while themselves fearing to murder the power- 
ful okies of the French, as they regarded the 


black-robes, desired that the Neutrals should 
put them to death. But no such tragedy 
found place as yet. After visiting nineteen 
towns, meeting everywhere maledictions and 
threats, Brebeuf and Chaumonot returned to 
Ste Marie. 

The good work went on, notwithstanding 
trials and reverses. The story of the Cross 
was being carried even to the Algonquins and 
Nipissings of the upper Ottawa and Georgian 
Bay. At Ste Marie neophytes gathered in 
numbers, and here there were no medicine- 
men, * * satellites of Satan,' to seduce them 
from their vows. But, just at the time when 
the harvest seemed richest in promise, a cloud 
appeared on the horizon a forerunner of 
darker clouds, heavy with calamity, and of the 
storm which was to bring destruction to the 
Huron people. 

Meanwhile, how fared the mission at 
Quebec ? Champlain had died on Christmas 
Day 1635, and the Jesuits had lost a staunch 
friend and never-failing protector. His suc- 
cessor, however, was Charles Huault de 
Montmagny, a knight of Malta, a man of 
devout character, thoroughly in sympathy 
with the missions. Under Montmagny's rule 

J.M. E 


New France became as austere as Puritan New 

The Relations of the Jesuits, sent yearly to 
France and published and widely read, had 
roused intense enthusiasm among wealthy 
and pious men and women. Thus Noel 
Brulart, Chevalier de Sillery, was moved to 
take an interest in the Canadian mission and 
to endow a home for Christian Indians. Le 
Jeune chose a site on the bank of the St 
Lawrence, four miles above Quebec ; and in 
1637 the Sillery establishment was erected 
there, consisting of a chapel, a mission-house, 
and an infirmary, all within strong palisades. 

About the same time two wealthy en- 
thusiasts, the Duchesse d'Aiguillon, a niece of 
Cardinal Richelieu, and Madame de la Peltrie, 
were likewise inspired by the Relations to 
undertake charitable work in New France. 
These ladies founded, respectively, the Hotel- 
Dieu of Quebec and the Ursuline Convent. 
In 1639 Madame de la Peltrie, who had given 
herself as well as her purse to the work, arrived 
in Quebec, accompanied by Mother Marie de 
T Incarnation and two other Ursulines and 
three Augustinian nuns. The Ursulines at 
once began their labours as teachers with six 
Indian pupils. But a plague of small-pox 

From a painting in the Ursuline Convent, Quebec 


was raging in the colony, and for the first year 
or two after their arrival these heroic women 
had to aid the sisters of the Hotel- Dieu in 
fighting the pest. 

The Jesuits themselves were busy with the 
education of the Indians and had already' 
established a college and seminary for the in- 
struction of young converts. The colony, 
however, was not growing. The Hundred 
Associates had not carried out the terms of 
their charter. There were less than four 
hundred settlers in the whole of New France, 
and only some three hundred soldiers to guard 
the settlements from attack. Canada as yet 
was little more than a mission ; and such it 
was to remain for another twenty and more 



WE have observed that the Hurons were at 
war with the Five Nations and that Iroquois 
scalping parties haunted the river routes and 
the trails to waylay Huron canoemen and cut 
off hunters and stragglers from their villages. 
When or how the feud began, between the 
Iroquois on the one side and the Hurons and 
Algonquins on the other, no man can tell. It 
antedated Champlain ; and, as we have seen, 
he had involved the French in it. There were, 
no doubt, many bloody encounters of which 
history furnishes no record. At first the 
warriors had fought on equal terms, the 
weapons of all being the bow and arrow, the 
tomahawk, the knife, and the war-club. But 
now the Iroquois had firearms, procured from 
the Dutch of the Hudson, and were skilled in 
the use of the musket, which gave them a great 
advantage over their Huron and Algonquin 


On the south-east frontier of Huronia, about 
four miles from Orillia, stood a town of the 
clan of the Rock, Contarea, a ' main bulwark 
of the country.' The inhabitants were pagans 
who had resisted the missionaries, and refused 
them permission to build a chapel, not even 
deigning to listen to their appeals. In the 
early summer of 1642 the people of Contarea 
were living in fancied security ; and when 
runners brought word that in the forests to 
the east a large force of Iroquois were en- 
camped, the Contarean warriors felt confi- 
dent that, from behind their strong palisades, 
they could resist any attack. No Iroquois 
appeared ; and, believing the rumour false, 
many of the warriors left the town for the 
accustomed hunting and fishing grounds. 
Suddenly, early on a June morning, the sleepy 
guards were roused by savage yells. The 
Iroquois were upon them. The alarm rang 
out ; the towers were manned, and the 
palisades lined with defenders. But in vain. 
Arrows and bullets swept towers and palisades, 
and through breaches made in the walls in 
rushed a horde of bloodthirsty demons. In a 
few minutes all was over ; the town became a 
shambles ; young and old fell beneath the 
tomahawks of the infuriated invaders. Then 


the torch ! And the Iroquois hied them back 
in triumph to their homes by the Mohawk, 
exulting in this first effective blow at the 
enemy in his own country. 

When news arrived of the destruction of 
Contarea, there was wild alarm in the mission 
towns. But it was no part of the Iroquois 
plan to attack at once the other Huron strong- 
holds. Huronia could wait until the tribes 
of the St Lawrence and the Ottawa, allies of 
the Hurons, should be destroyed. Then the 
Five Nations could concentrate their forces 
on the Hurons. 

And so six years passed over the Jesuits in 
the mission-fields. Scalping parties occasion- 
ally haunted the outskirts of the villages where 
they were stationed. The Iroquois frequently 
attacked the annual fleet of canoes on its 
journey to Quebec, and on several occasions 
captured and carried off priests and their 
assistants. But during these years no large 
body of Iroquois invaded Huronia. The in- 
satiable warriors of the Five Nations were 
busy devastating the St Lawrence and the 
Ottawa, pressing the tribes back and ever 
back, until scarcely a wigwam could be seen 
between Ville Marie and Lake Nipissing. The 
Algonquins who had not fallen had left their 


villages and had sought safety on the bleak 
shores and islands of Georgian Bay, or among 
the Hurons. 

The mission was prospering under the 
guidance of Paul Ragueneau, who in 1645 
succeeded Lalemant as superior, when the 
latter journeyed to Quebec to take over the 
office of superior-general of the Canada mis- 
sion. Ste Marie, a wilderness Mecca of the 
faith, entertained yearly thousands of Indians, 
many of whom professed Christianity. On 
one occasion seven hundred Indians sought 
this sanctuary within a fortnight, and to each 
of these the fathers from their abundant 
stores gave two meals. About the walls 
fields of corn, beans, pumpkins, and wheat 
spread fair to the eye. Within the enclosure 
all was activity. Ambroise Brouet was busy 
in his kitchen ; Louis Gauber was at his 
forge ; Pierre Masson, when not occupied at 
his tailor's bench, was hard at work in the 
garden, the pride of the mission ; Christophe 
Regnaut and Jacques Levrier were mending 
or fashioning shoes and moccasins ; Joseph 
Molere prepared potions for the sick and had 
charge of the laundry ; and Charles Boivin, 
the master-builder, superintended the erection 
of new buildings or the strengthening and im- 


proving of those already built. The appear- 
ance of permanency about the place was 
enhanced by the fowls, pigs, and cattle. There 
were two cows and two bulls, which had been 
brought with incredible toil from Quebec. 

The teaching and example of the fathers 
were winning a way to the hearts of the 
Indians. In 1648 eleven or twelve mission 
stations stood throughout Huronia, among the 
Algonquins, and among the Petuns, now 
settled in the Blue Hills south of Nottawasaga 
Bay. Seven of these stations had chapels 
and in six it had been found necessary to 
establish residences. In some of the villages, 
such as Ossossane, the Christians outnumbered 
the pagans. The Christian Hurons gave 
active help to the fathers in the work of the 
mission, some among their own people, and 
others among the Petuns and the Neutrals. 
The chapels had bells on some discarded 
kettles served this purpose to call the flocks 
to worship ; and crosses studded the land. 
Huronia was in a fair way of being completely 
won ; and the missionaries were already 
looking to the unexplored regions round 
and beyond Lake Superior, and even to 
the land of the Iroquois. Then, with the 
suddenness of a volcanic eruption, their 


flocks were scattered and their dearest hopes 

In 1647 there was no communication be- 
tween Ste Marie and Quebec. Owing to the 
danger from Iroquois along the route, the 
annual canoe-fleet did not go down, although 
a small party of Hurons, it seems, went as 
far as Ville Marie. The necessities of the 
mission were, however, urgent, and in the 
spring of the following year Father Bressani 
set out with a strong contingent of two 
hundred and fifty Huron warriors, fully half 
of whom were Christians. No sooner had 
this expedition begun its descent of the Ottawa 
than an Iroquois war - party, which had 
wintered near Lake Nipissing, stole southward 
through the forests towards Huronia. 

Contarea had been destroyed. The danger- 
ous position of St Jean-Baptiste, situated near 
the site of Cahiague on Lake Simcoe, whence 
Champlain had set out against the Iroquois 
in 1615, had led the Jesuits to abandon 
it. St Joseph or Teanaostaiae, with about 
two thousand inhabitants, was therefore the 
frontier town on the south-east of Huronia. 
Father Daniel, in charge of this station, had 
just returned from his annual eight-day re- 
treat at Ste Marie. For four years he had 


laboured in this mission ; and, though his 
flock had been a stiff-necked one, his work 
had brought its reward. On the 4th of July 
his little chapel was crowded for the celebra- 
tion of early Mass, and as he gazed at the con- 
gregation of his converts his spirit rejoiced 
within him. He had just finished the service, 
when shrill through the morning air rang the 
cry : ' The Iroquois ! The Iroquois ! ' Rush- 
ing out he saw the foe already hacking at the 
palisades and many of the defenders falling 
beneath a storm of arrows and bullets. His 
first thought for his flock, he hurried back 
into the chapel, beseeching them to save 
themselves. They pressed about him, pray- 
ing for baptism and for absolution ; and, as 
they held to him appealing hands, he dipped 
his handkerchief in the font and baptized the 
crowd by aspersion. Then he boldly strode 
to the door of his chapel and faced the enemy. 
For a moment the savage fiends hesitated be- 
fore the stern-eyed priest standing in his vest- 
ments, protecting, as it seemed, the flock that 
cowered behind him ; but only for a moment. 
Yelling defiance at the white medicine-man, 
they directed their weapons against him ; and 
this dauntless soldier of the Cross received 
the crown of martyrdom which he had prayed 


might be his. His slayers fell upon his body, 
stripped it of clothing, mutilated it, and cast 
it into the now flaming chapel, a fitting funeral 
pyre for the first martyr of the Huron mission. 
The entire village was given to the flames, and 
the smoke of the burning cabins and palisades 
rolled over the forest. A small village not 
far away, on the trail to Ossossane, shared the 
same fate. The slaughter glutted the ferocity 
of the Iroquois for the time being ; and, with 
some seven hundred prisoners, they stole back 
to their villages south of Lake Ontario. 

After this calamity the pall of a great fear 
hung over the Hurons. Paralysed and inert, 
the warriors took no steps to defend the 
country against the Iroquois peril. In spite 
of the exhortations of the Jesuits, they lay 
idle in their wigwams or hunted in the forest, 
dejectedly awaiting their doom. 

An Iroquois war - party twelve hundred 
strong spent the winter of 1648-49 on the 
upper Ottawa ; and as the snows began to 
melt under the thaws of spring these insatiable 
slayers of men directed their steps towards 
Huronia. The frontier village on the east 
was now St Ignace, on the west of the Sturgeon 
river, about seven miles from Ste Marie. 
was strongly fortified and formed a part c 


mission of the same name, under the care of 
Brebeuf and Father Gabriel Lalemant, a 
nephew of Jerome Lalemant. About a league 
distant, midway to Ste Marie, stood St Louis, 
another town of the mission, where the two 
fathers lived. On the i6th of March the in- 
habitants of. St Ignace had no thought of 
impending disaster. The Iroquois might be 
on the war-path, but they would not come 
while yet ice held the rivers and snow lay in 
the forests. But that morning, just as the 
horizon began to glow with the first colours 
of the dawn, the sleeping Hurons woke to 
the sound of the dreaded war-whoop. The 
Iroquois devils had breached the walls. 
Three Hurons escaped, dashed along the 
forest trail to St Louis, roused the village, 
and then fled for Ste Marie, followed by the 
women and children and those too feeble 
to fight. There were in St Louis only about 
eighty warriors, but, not knowing the strength 
of the invaders, they determined to fight. 
The Hurons begged Brebeuf and Lalemant to 
fly to Ste Marie ; but they refused to stir. 
In the hour of danger and death they must 
remain with their flock, to sustain the warriors 
in the battle and to give the last rites of the 
Church to the wounded and dying. 


Having made short work of St Ignace, the 
Iroquois came battering at the walls of St 
Louis before sunrise. The Hurons resisted 
stubbornly ; but the assailants outnumbered 
them ten to one, and soon hacked a way 
through the palisades and captured all the 
defenders remaining alive, among them Bre- 
beuf and Lalemant. 

The Iroquois bound Brebeuf and Lalemant 
and led them back to St Ignace, beating 
them as they went. There they stripped 
the two priests and tied them to stakes. 
Brebeuf knew that his hour had come. Him 
the savages made the special object of their 
diabolical cruelty. And, standing at the 
stake amid his yelling tormentors, he be- 
queathed to the world an example of forti- 
tude sublime, unsurpassed, and unsurpassable. 
Neither by look nor cry nor movement did 
he give sign of the agony he was suffering. 
To the reviling and abuse of the fiends he 
replied with words warning them of the judg- 
ment to come. They poured boiling water 
on his head in derision of baptism ; they 
hung red-hot axes about his naked shoulders ; 
they made a belt of pitch and resin and 
placed it about his body and set it on fire. 
By every conceivable means the red devils 


strove to force him to cry for mercy. But 
not a sound of pain could they wring from 
him. At last, after four hours of this torture, 
a chief cut out his heart, and the noble ser- 
vant of God quitted the scene of his earthly 

Lalemant, a man of gentle, refined char- 
acter, as delicate as Brebeuf was robust, also 
endured the torture. But the savages ad- 
ministered it to him with a refinement of 
cruelty, and kept him alive for fourteen hours. 
Then at last he, too, entered into his rest. 

Ten years before Brebeuf had made a vow 
to Christ : ' Never to shrink from martyrdom 
if, in Your mercy, You deem me worthy of so 
great a privilege. Henceforth, I will never 
avoid any opportunity that presents itself of 
dying for You, but will accept martyrdom 
with delight, provided that, by so doing, I can 
add to Your glory. From this day, my Lord 
Jesus Christ, I cheerfully yield unto You 
my life, with the hope that You will grant 
me the grace to die for You, since You have 
deigned to die for me. Grant me, O Lord, 
so to live, that You may deem me worthy to 
die a martyr's death Thus my Lord, I take 
Your chalice, and call upon Your name. Jesu I 
Jesu ! Jesu ! ' How nobly this vow was kept. 



MEANWHILE at Ste Marie Ragueneau and his 
companions learned from Huron fugitives of 
the fate of their comrades ; and waited, 
hourly expecting to be attacked. The priests 
were attended by about twoscore armed 
Frenchmen. All day and all night the anxious 
fathers prayed and stood on guard. In the 
morning three hundred Huron warriors came 
to their relief, bringing the welcome news that 
the Hurons were assembling in force to give 
battle to the invaders. These Hurons were 
just in time to fall in with a party of Iroquois, 
already on the way to Ste Marie. An en- 
counter in the woods followed. At first some 
of the Hurons were driven back ; but straight- 
way others of their band rushed to the rescue ; 
and the Iroquois in turn ran for shelter behind 
the shattered palisades of St Louis. The 
Hurons followed, and finally put the enemy to 
rout and remained in possession of the place. 



Now followed an Indian battle of almost un- 
paralleled ferocity. Never did Huron warriors 
fight better than in this conflict at the death- 
hour of their nation. Against the Hurons 
within the palisades came the Iroquois in 
force from St Ignace. All day long, in and 
about the walls of St Louis, the battle raged ; 
and when night fell only twenty wounded and 
helpless Hurons remained to continue the 
resistance. In the gathering darkness the 
Iroquois rushed in and with tomahawk and 
knife dispatched the remnant of the band. 

But the Iroquois had no mind for further 
fighting, and did not attack Ste Marie. They 
mustered their Huron captives old men, 
women, and children tied them to stakes in 
the cabins of St Ignace, and set fire to the 
village. And, after being entertained to 
their satisfaction by the cries of agony which 
arose from their victims in the blazing cabins, 
they made their way southward through the 
forests of Huronia and disappeared. 

Panic reigned throughout Huronia. After 
burning fifteen villages, lest they should serve 
as a shelter for the Iroquois, the Hurons 
scattered far and wide. Some fled to Ste 
Marie, some toiled through the snows of 
spring to the villages of the Petuns, some fled 


to the Neutrals and Eries, some to the Algon- 
quin tribes of the north and west, and some 
even sought adoption among the Iroquois. 
Ste Marie stood alone, like a shepherd without 
sheep : mission villages, chapels, residences, 
flocks all were gone. The work of over 
twenty years was destroyed. Sick at heart, 
Ragueneau looked about him for a new situa- 
tion, a spot that might serve as a centre for 
his band of devoted missionaries as they 
toiled among the wanderers by lake and river 
and in the depths of the northern forest. 

He first thought of Isle Ste Marie (Mani- 
toulin Island) as the safest place for the head- 
quarters of a new mission, but finally decided 
to go to Isle St Joseph (Christian Island), just 
off Huronia to the north. There, on the bay 
that indents the south-east corner of the 
island, he directed that land should be cleared 
for the building. The work of evacuating 
Ste Marie began early in May, and on the 
1 5th of the month the buildings were set on 
fire. The valuables of the mission were placed 
in a large boat and on rafts ; and, with heavy 
hearts, the fathers and their helpers went 
aboard for the journey to their new home 
twenty miles away. 

The new Ste Marie which the Jesuits built 

J.M. F 


on Isle St Joseph was in the nature of a strong 
fort. Its walls were of stone and cement, 
fourteen feet high and loopholed. At each 
corner there was a protecting bastion, and the 
entire structure was surrounded by a deep 
moat. It was practically impregnable against 
Indian attack, for it could not be under- 
mined, set on fire, or taken by assault. A 
handful of men could hold it against a host 
of Iroquois. 

About the sheltering walls of Ste Marie the 
Indians gathered, to the number of seven or 
eight thousand by the autumn of 1649. Here 
the missionaries continued the good work. 
The only outposts now were among the 
Algonquins along the shore of Georgian Bay, 
and the Petun missions of St Mathias, St 
Matthieu, and St Jean. But the Petuns were 
presently to share the fate of the Hurons ; and 
Gamier and Chabanel, who were stationed at 
St Jean, were to perish as had Daniel, Brebeuf, 
and Lalemant. 

During the autumn Ragueneau learned that 
a large body of Iroquois were working their 
way westward towards St Jean. He sent 
runners to the threatened town, and ordered 
Chabanel to return to Ste Marie and warned 
Gamier to be on his guard. On the 5th of 


December Chabanel set out for Ste Marie 
with some Petun Hurons, and Gamier was 
left alone at St Jean. Two days later, while 
the warriors were out searching for their 
elusive foes, a band of Senecas and Mohawks 
swept upon the town, broke through the 
defences, and proceeded to butcher the in- 
habitants. Garnier fell with his flock. In 
the thick of the slaughter, while baptizing 
and absolving the dying, he was smitten down 
with three bullet wounds and his cassock 
torn from his body. As he lay in agony the 
moans of a wounded Petun near by drew his 
attention. Though spent with loss of blood, 
though his brain reeled with the weakness of 
approaching death, he dragged himself to his 
wounded red brother, gave him absolution, 
and then fell to the ground in a faint. On 
recovering from his swoon he saw another 
dying convert near by and strove to reach 
his side, but an Iroquois rushed upon him and 
ended his life with a tomahawk. 

In a sense Chabanel was less fortunate than 
Garnier. On the day following the massacre 
of St Jean he was hastening along the well- 
beaten trail towards Ste Marie, when the 
sound of Iroquois war-cries in the distance 
alarmed his guides, and all deserted him 


save one. This one did worse, for he slew 
the priest and cast his body into the Notta- 
wasaga river. This murderer, an apostate 
Huron, afterwards confessed the crime, de- 
claring that he had committed it because 
nothing but misfortune had befallen him 
ever since he and his family had embraced 

For some months after the death of Garnier 
and Chabanel the Jesuits maintained the 
mission of St Mathias among the Petuns in 
the Blue Hills. Here Father Adrien Greslon 
laboured until January 1650, and Father 
Leonard Garreau until the following spring. 
Garreau was then recalled, leaving not a 
missionary on the mainland in the Huron or 
the Petun country. 

The French and Indians on Isle St Joseph, 
though safe from attack, were really prisoners 
on the island. Mohawks and Senecas remained 
in the forests near by, ready to pounce on any 
who ventured to the mainland. When winter 
bridged with ice the channel between the 
island and the main shore, it was necessary for 
the soldiers of the mission to stand incessantly 
on guard. And now another enemy than the 
Iroquois stalked among the fugitives. The 
fathers had abundant food for themselves and 


their assistants ; but the Hurons, in their 
hurried flight, had made no provision for the 
winter. The famishing hordes subsisted on 
acorns and roots, and even greedily devoured 
the dead bodies of dogs and foxes. Disease 
joined forces with famine, and by spring fully 
half the Hurons at Ste Marie had perished. 
Some fishing and hunting parties left the 
island in search of food, but few returned. 

It soon appeared that for the Hurons to 
remain on the island meant extinction. Two 
of the leading chiefs waited on Father Rague- 
neau and begged him to move the remnant 
of their people to Quebec, where under the 
sheltering walls of the fortress they might 
keep together as a people. It was a bitter 
draught for the Jesuits ; but there was no 
other course. They made ready for the 
migration ; and on the loth of June (1650) 
the thirteen priests and four lay brothers of 
the mission, with their donnes, hired men, and 
soldiers, in all sixty French, and about three 
hundred Hurons, entered canoes and headed 
for the French River. On their way down 
the Ottawa they met Father Bressani, who 
had gone to Quebec in the previous autumn 
for supplies, and who now joined the retreat- 
ing party. And on the 28th of July, after a 


journey of fifty days, all arrived safely at the 
capital of New France. 1 

The war-lust of the Five Nations remained 
still unsatiated. They continued to harass 
the Petuns, who finally fled in terror, most 
of them to Mackinaw Island. Still in dread 
of the Iroquois, they moved thence to the 
western end of Lake Superior ; but here they 
came into conflict with the Sioux, and had to 
migrate once more. A band of them finally 
moved to Detroit and Sandusky, where, under 
the name of Wyandots, we find them figuring 
in history at a later period. The Iroquois 
then found occasion for quarrels with the 
Neutrals, the Eries, and the Andastes ; and 
soon practically all the Indian tribes from the 

1 For a time the Hurons encamped in the vicinity of the Hotel - 
Dieu. In the spring of 1651 they moved to the island of Orleans. 
Five years later their settlement was raided by Mohawks and 
seventy-one were killed or taken prisoner. The island was 
abandoned and shelter sought in Quebec under the guns of Fort 
St Louis, and here they remained until 1668, when they removed 
to Beauport. In the following year they were placed at Notre- 
Dame-de-Foy, about four miles from Quebec. In 1673 a site 
affording more land was given them on the St Charles river, 
about nine miles from the fortress. Here at Old Lorette a chapel 
was built for them and here they remained for twenty-four years. 
In 1697 they moved to New Lorette Jeune Lorette in the 
seigneury of St Michel, and at this place, by the rapids of the 
St Charles, four or five hundred of this once numerous tribe may 
still be found. 


shores of Maine to the Mississippi and as far 
south as the Carolinas were under tribute to 
the Five Nations. Only the Algonquin tribes 
of Michigan and Wisconsin and the tribes of 
the far north had not suffered from these 
bloodthirsty conquerors. 

The Huron mission was ended. For a 
quarter of a century the Jesuits had struggled 
to build up a spiritual empire among the 
heathen of North America, but, to all appear- 
ances, they had struggled in vain. In all 
twenty-five fathers had toiled in Huronia. Of 
these, as we have seen, four had been murdered 
by the Iroquois and one by an apostate Huron. 
Nor was this the whole story of martyrdom. 
Six years after the dispersion Leonard Garreau 
was to die by an Iroquois bullet while journey- 
ing up the Lake of Two Mountains on his 
way to the Algonquin missions of the west. 
Another of the fathers, Rene Menard, while 
following a party of Algonquins to the wilds 
of Wisconsin, lost his way in the forest and 
perished from exposure or starvation ; and 
Anne de Noue, Brebeuf's earliest comrade in 
Huronia, in an effort to bring assistance to a 
party of French soldiers storm-bound on Lake 
St Peter, was frozen to death. But mis- 
fortune did not cool the zeal of the Jesuits. 


Into the depths of the forest they went with 
their wandering flocks, and raised the Cross 
by lake and stream as far west as the 
Mississippi and as far north as Hudson Bay. 
Already they had found their way into the 
Long Houses of the Iroquois. 


WHILE labouring among the Hurons the 
Jesuits had their minds on the Iroquois. It 
was, they thought, within their sphere of 
duty even to tame these human tigers. They 
well knew that such an attempt would involve 
dangers vastly greater than those encountered 
in Huronia ; but the greater the danger and 
suffering the greater the glory. And yet for 
a time it seemed impossible to make a begin- 
ning of missionary work among the Iroquois. 
As we have seen, Champlain had made them 
the uncompromising enemies of the French, 
and since then all Frenchmen stood in con- 
stant peril of their lives from marauding bands 
in ambush near every settlement and along 
the highways of travel. Thus nearly twenty 
years passed after the arrival of the Jesuits 
in Canada before an opening came for win- 
ning a way to the hearts of these ruthless 


It came at last, fraught with tragedy. 
From 1636 to 1642 Father Isaac Jogues had 
been engaged in missionary work in Huronia. 
He was a man of saintly character, delicate, 
refined, scholarly ; yet he had borne hard- 
ships among the Petuns enough to break the 
spirit of any man. He had toiled, too, among 
the Algonquin tribes, and at one time had 
preached to a gathering of two thousand at 
Sault Ste Marie. In 1642 he was chosen to 
bring much-needed supplies to Huronia a 
dangerous task, as in that year large bodies 
of Iroquois were on the war-path. And in 
August he was ascending Lake St Peter with 
thirty-six Hurons and three Frenchmen in 
twelve canoes. His French companions were 
a labourer and two donnes Rene Goupil, who, 
having had some hospital experience, was go- 
ing to Ste Marie as a surgeon, and Guillaume 
Couture, a man of devotion, energy, and 
courage. The canoes bearing the party were 
threading the clustered islands at the western 
end of Lake St Peter, and had reached a spot 
where the thickly wooded shores were almost 
hidden from view by tall reeds that swayed in 
the summer wind, when suddenly out of the 
reeds darted a number of Iroquois warriors in 
canoes. The surprise was complete ; three 

From an engraving by S. Hollyer 


of the Hurons were killed on the spot, and 
Jogues, Goupil, and Couture, and twenty-two 
Hurons were taken prisoner. The raiders then 
plundered the canoes and set out southward, 
up the Richelieu, with their prisoners. At 
every stopping-place on the way Jogues and 
the donnes were brutally tortured ; finally, 
in the Mohawk country they were dragged 
through the three chief towns of the nation, 
held up to ridicule, beaten with clubs, their 
fingers broken or lopped off, and their bodies 
burned with red-hot coals. Couture had 
slain a Mohawk warrior during the attack on 
Lake St Peter ; but his courageous bearing 
so impressed the savages that one of them 
adopted him in place of a dead relative, and 
he thus escaped death. Goupil, after several 
months among the Mohawks, was brutally 
murdered. But Jogues 's life was providenti- 
ally preserved, and during nearly a year, a 
year of intense suffering, he went among his 
persecutors glorying in the opportunity of 
preaching the Gospel under these hard con- 

At length a fishing and trading party of 
Mohawks took him to the Dutch settlement 
at Fort Orange (Albany). Already the Dutch 
authorities had tried in vain to gain his 


release. They now took advantage of his 
presence among them, generously br.aving the 
wrath of his tyrant masters, and aided him 
to escape. He found shelter on a Dutch 
vessel and finally succeeded in reaching 
France. The story of his capture had arrived 
before him, and his brothers in France wel- 
comed him as a saint and martyr, as one 
miraculously snatched from the jaws of death. 
But he had no thought of remaining to enjoy 
the cloistered quiet and peace of a college in 
France ; back to the hardships and dangers 
of North America his unconquerable spirit 
demanded that he should go. According to 
the rules of the Church he could not ad- 
minister the sacraments with his mutilated 
hands ; but, having obtained a special dispen- 
sation from the Pope, he once more fearlessly 
crossed the ocean, in search of the crown of 

The next missionary to reach the Iroquois 
country was Father Joseph Bressani, an 
Italian priest who had been attracted to the 
Canadian mission-field through reading the 
Relations of the missionaries to Huronia. On 
April 27, 1644, with six Hurons and a French 
boy twelve years old, he set out from Three 
Rivers. It was thought that the Iroquois 


would not yet have reached the St Lawrence 
at this early time of the year ; but this was 
an error, as the sequel proved. A party of 
twenty-seven warriors in ambush surprised 
Bressani and his fellow-travellers, slew several 
of the Hurons, and carried the rest with 
Bressani and the French boy to the Mohawk 
towns. Bressani they put to torture even 
more severe than that which Jogues had 
endured ; not sparing the young lad, who 
manfully faced his tormentors till death freed 
him. Bressani escaped death only because 
an old squaw adopted him ; but so mangled 
were his hands, so burned and broken was his 
body, that she deemed her slave of little value 
and sent him with her son to Fort Orange to 
be sold. The Dutch acted generously ; paid 
a liberal ransom ; and gave Bressani passage 
on a Dutch vessel, which landed him at La 
Rochelle on November 15, 1644. But, like 
Jogues, his one thought was to return to New 
France ; and in the following year we find 
him in Huronia, his mutilated hands, torn and 
broken by the enemies of the Hurons, mute 
but efficacious witnesses of his courage. 

For a time the hopes of the Jesuits for a 
mission among the Iroquois were damped by 
the experiences of Jogues and Bressani. But 


in 1645 an incident took place that opened the 
way for an attempt to carry the Gospel to 
this savage people. A band of Algonquins 
captured several Mohawks and brought them 
to Sillery. The captives fully expected to 
be tortured and burned ; but the Jesuits at 
Quebec and the governor, Montmagny, were 
desirous of winning the goodwill of the 
Iroquois. They persuaded the Algonquins 
to free the prisoners, then treated them 
kindly, and sent one of them home on the 
understanding that he would try to make 
peace between his people and the French 
and their allies. On the advice of Guillaume 
Couture, who was still among the Mohawks 
and was much esteemed and trusted by them, 
the Mohawks sent ambassadors to Three 
Rivers to consult with the governor. The 
result was a temporary peace ; the Mohawks 
agreed to bury the hatchet ; and early in the 
following spring (1646) Montmagny decided 
to send to them a special messenger who might 
make the peace permanent and set up among 
them a mission. 

Isaac Jogues, having returned to Canada 
after his brief rest in France, was now 
stationed at Ville Marie. His knowledge of 
the Mohawk language and character made 


him the most fitting person to send as envoy 
to the Mohawks, in the twofold capacity of 
diplomat and missionary. At first, as his 
sufferings rose before his mind, he shrank 
from the task, but only for a moment. He 
would go fearlessly to these people, though 
they lived in his memory only by the tortures 
they had inflicted on him. He set out ; and 
on arriving at the Mohawk towns he found the 
savages friendly. Everywhere the Mohawks 
bade him welcome. They listened atten- 
tively to the message from the governor, and 
accepted the wampum belts and gifts which 
he bore. Apparently the Mohawks were eager 
for the amity of the French. To both Jogues 
and Couture it seemed that at last the time 
was ripe for an Iroquois mission the Mission 
of the Martyrs. Before saying farewell .to the 
Mohawks Jogues left with his hosts, as a 
pledge that he would return, a locked box ; 
and by the end of June he was back in Quebec 
to report the success of his journey. He then 
prepared to redeem his pledge to the Mohawks. 
He left Quebec towards the end of August, 
with a lay brother named Lalande and some 
Hurons.' He had forebodings of death, for 
on the eve of the journey he wrote to a friend 
in France : Ibo et non redibo, I shall go and 


shall not return. Arrived at the Richelieu, 
he was told by some friendly Indians that the 
attitude of the Mohawks had changed. They 
were in arms, and were once more breathing 
vengeance against the French and their allies. 
At this Jogues's Huron companions deserted 
him, but he and Lalande pressed on to their 
destination. The alarm was only too well 
founded. The Mohawks at once crowded 
round them, scowling and threatening. They 
stripped Jogues and his comrade of their 
clothing, beat them, and repeated the tortures 
which Jogues had suffered four years before. 
The innocent cause of this outbreak of 
Mohawk fury was the box which Jogues had 
left behind him. From this box, as the 
ignorant savages thought, had come the 
drought and a plague of grasshoppers, which 
had destroyed the crops, and also the pest 
which was now raging in the Mohawk towns. 
Some Huron captives among the Mohawks, 
no doubt to win favour with their masters, 
had maligned Jogues, proclaiming him a 
sorcerer who had previously brought disaster 
to the Hurons, and had now come to destroy 
the Mohawks. Undoubtedly, they declared, 
it was from the box that had come all the ills 
which had befallen them. Jogues protested 


his innocence ; but as well mfght he have tried 
to reason with a pack of wolves. They de- 
manded his death, and the inevitable blow 
soon fell. On the i8th of October, as he 
sat wounded and bruised and starving in a 
wigwam, a chief approached and bade him 
come to a feast. He knew what the invita- 
tion meant ; it was a feast of death ; but he 
calmly rose, his spirit steeled for the worst. 
His guide entered a wigwam and ordered him 
to follow ; and, as he bent his head to enter, 
a savage concealed by the door cleft his skull 
with a tomahawk. On the following day 
Lalande shared a similar fate. Their heads 
were chopped off and placed on the palisades of 
the town, and their bodies thrown into the 
Mohawk river. The Mission of the Martyrs 
was at an end for the time being. 

Ten years were to pass before missionary 
work was renewed among the Iroquois ten 
years of disaster to the Jesuits and to the 
colony. In these years, as we have already 
seen, the Hurons, Petuns, and Neutrals were 
destroyed or scattered, and the French and 
Indian settlements along the St Lawrence 
were continually in danger. There was no 
safety outside the fortified posts, and agri- 
culture and trade were at a standstill. The 

J.M. G 


year 1653 was particularly disastrous ; a 
horde of Mohawks were abroad, hammering 
at the palisades of every settlement and 
spreading terror even in the strongly guarded 
towns of Ville Marie, Three Rivers, and 
Quebec. But light broke when all seemed 
darkest. The western Iroquois the Oneidas, 
Onondagas, and Senecas were at war with 
the Eries. While thus engaged it seemed 
to them good policy to make peace with 
the French, and they dispatched an embassy 
to Ville Marie to open negotiations. The 
Mohawks, too, fearing that their western 
kinsmen might gain some advantage over 
them, sent messengers to New France. A 
grand council was held at Quebec. But even 
while making peace the Iroquois were intent 
on war. They desired nothing short of the 
utter extermination of the Huron nation, and 
viewed with jealousy the Huron settlement 
under the wing of the French on the island 
of Orleans. Both Onondagas and Mohawks 
plotted to destroy this community. The pro- 
posed peace was merely a ruse to open a way 
to attack the Hurons in order to kill them or 
to adopt them into the Five Nations, which, 
on account of losses in war, needed recruits. 
The Mohawks requested that the Hurons be 


removed to the Mohawk villages ; the Onon- 
dagas stipulated for a French colony in their 
country, in the hope that the Hurons would 
be attracted to such a settlement, and that 
then both French and Hurons would be in 
their power. The governor of New France, 
now Jean de Lauzon, a weak old man who 
thought more of the profits of the fur trade 
and of land-grants for himself and his family 
than of the welfare of the colony, knew not 
how to act. A negative answer he dared not 
give ; and he equally feared the effect of 
a definite promise. On the one hand was the 
certainty that war would break out again in 
all its fury ; on the other the equal certainty 
that the fate which had befallen the Hurons 
in Huronia would almost inevitably overtake 
the poor remnant of Christian Hurons whom 
it was his duty to protect. 

The Jesuits, however, were anxious to 
labour among the Iroquois, and at their re- 
quest the governor adopted a temporizing 
policy. Before giving a final reply it was 
deemed wise to send an ambassador to the 
Five Nations to spy out the land and confirm 
the peace. This dangerous task was assigned 
to the veteran missionary Father Simon Le 
Moyne. In the spring of 1654 Le Moyne 


visited the Onondagas. His diplomacy and 
eloquence succeeded with them, but the Mo- 
hawks still continued their raids on the settle- 
ments. Nevertheless in 1655 the Mohawks 
again sent messengers to Quebec professing 
friendship. Le Moyne once more took up 
the task of diplomat and journeyed to the 
Mohawk country in the hope of making a 
binding treaty with the fiercest and most in- 
veterate foes of New France. In this same 
year a large deputation of Onondagas arrived 
at Quebec. They wished the French to take 
immediate action and establish a mission and 
colony in their midst. Once more their 
sincerity seemed doubtful ; and Fathers 
Chaumonot and Dablon were dispatched to 
Onondaga to ascertain the temper and dis- 
position of the Indians there. After spending 
the winter of 1655-56 in the country, where 
they had conferences in the great council- 
house of the Five Nations with representatives 
of all the tribes, the two fathers believed that 
the time was ripe for a mission. A colony, 
too, in their judgment, would be advisable ; 
it would serve at once as a centre of civiliza- 
tion for the Iroquois and a barrier against the 
Dutch and English of New York, who hitherto 
had monopolized the trade of the Iroquois. 


In the spring of 1656 Dablon returned to 
Quebec to advise the governor to accept the 
terms of the Onondagas, while Chaumonot re- 
mained at Onondaga to watch over his new 
flock both as missionary and as political 

An expedition, the entire expense of which 
fell on the Jesuits, was at once fitted out. The 
town major of Quebec, Zachary du Puys, took 
military command of the party, which con- 
sisted of ten soldiers, thirty or forty white 
labourers, four Jesuit fathers Menard, Le 
Mercier, Dablon, and Fremin two lay 
brothers, and a number of Hurons, Senecas, 
and Onondagas. On the iyth of May the 
colonists left Quebec in two large boats and 
twelve canoes. They began their journey 
with forebodings as to their fate, for the 
Mohawks were once more haunting the St 
Lawrence. Scarcely had Du Puys and his 
men passed out of sight of Quebec when they 
were attacked. The Mohawks, however, pre- 
tended that they had supposed the party to 
be Hurons, expressed regret for the attack, 
and allowed the expedition to proceed. At 
Montreal the boats were discarded in favour 
of canoes for the difficult navigation of the 
upper St Lawrence. Save for Le Moyne, 


Chaumonot, and Dablon, these colonists were 
the first whites to ascend the St Lawrence 
between Montreal and Lake Ontario ; the 
first to toil up against the current of those 
swift waters and to portage past the turbulent 
rapids ; the first to view the varied beauty of 
the lordly river, its broad stretches of sparkling 
blue waters, its fairyland mazes of islands, 
and its great forests rising everywhere from 
the shore to the horizon. At length they 
reached Lake Ontario and skirted its southern 
shore until they entered the Oswego river. 
Ascending this river they were met by Chau- 
monot and an Onondaga delegation. On 
Lake Onondaga the canoes formed four abreast 
behind the canoe of the leader, from which 
streamed a white silk flag with the name 
Jesus woven on it in letters of gold. Then, 
with measured stroke of paddle and song of 
praise, the flotilla swept ashore to the site 
which Chaumonot had chosen for the head- 
quarters of the colony. Here, from the crest 
of a low hill, commanding a beautiful view 
of one of the most picturesque of inland lakes, 
they cleared the trees and erected a com- 
modious and substantial house, with smaller 
buildings about it, all enclosed in the usual 


The Jesuits announced that they had come 
not as traders but as ' messengers of God,' 
seeking no profit ; and they began work under 
most favourable conditions. Owing to Chau- 
monot's exertions the Onondagas seemed 
genuinely friendly. The fathers, too, found 
in every village many adopted Hurons, from 
their old missions in Huronia, who still pro- 
fessed Christianity. Indeed, one whole village 
was composed largely of Hurons and Petuns. 
The mission was not confined to the Onon- 
dagas ; the Cayugas, Senecas, and Oneidas 
were included ; and the new field seemed 
rich in promise. 

But it soon became evident that the 
fickle Iroquois were not to be trusted. The 
Mohawks continued their raids on the Hurons 
at Quebec and carried off captives from under 
the very walls of Fort St Louis. Learning of 
this, the Onondagas sent an expedition to 
Quebec to demand that some Hurons should 
be given to them also, and the weak adminis- 
trator of the colony, Charles de Lauzon- 
Charny, being too cowardly to resist, com- 
plied with this demand. On the way back 
to Onondaga the Indians slew some of the 
captives. On arriving at home they tortured 
and burned others, among them women and 


helpless children. The colonists at Onondaga 
frequently witnessed such scenes, but they 
were powerless to interfere. Presently they 
learned that it was with evil intentions that 
they had been invited to Onondaga. A 
statement made to one of the missionaries by 
a dying convert served only to confirm the 
rumour already current, namely, that the 
death of the colonists had been decreed from 
the first, and that the Jesuits were to meet 
the fate which had befallen Jogues and their 
brothers in Huronia. 

Prompt action was necessary. Orders were 
sent to the missionaries in the outlying points 
to return to headquarters, and towards the 
end of March the colonists, fifty-three in all, 
were behind the palisades of their houses on 
Lake Onondaga. But they had slight chance 
of escape, for they had not canoes enough to 
carry more than half the party. Moreover, 
they were closely watched : Onondaga warriors 
had pitched their wigwams about the palisades 
and several had stationed themselves immedi- 
ately in front of the gate. The greatest need 
of the French, however, being adequate means 
of transportation, they addressed themselves 
to this problem. In the principal dwelling 
was a large garret, and here they built two 


strong boats, each capable of bearng fifteen 
men. But the difficulty still remained of 
getting these boats to the lake without the 
knowledge of the savages. 

Among the colonists was a young man, 
Pierre Esprit Radisson, who three years before 
had been a prisoner among the Iroquois and 
who was afterwards to figure prominently in 
the history of the Canadian wilderness. He 
was unscrupulous but resourceful ; and on 
this occasion his talents came into good use. 
He knew the Indians well and he knew that 
they could not resist a feast, especially a feast 
of a semi-religious character. He persuaded 
a young man of the mission to feign illness 
and to invite the Onondagas to aid in his cure 
by attending a festin a manger toot a feast 
where everything must be eaten. To sanction 
this no doubt went much against the grain 
of the Jesuits, who had been upbraiding the 
Indians for their superstition and gluttony ; 
but in this case the end seemed assuredly to 
justify the means. The Onondagas attended 
the banquet. In huge iron pots slung over fires 
outside the gate of the palisades the French 
boiled an immense quantity of venison, game, 
fish, and corn. They had brought with them 
to the colony a number of hogs, and these 


they slew to add to the feast. The Indians 
squatted about the kettles, from which the 
soldiers, employees, and fathers ladled the 
food ; as fast as a warrior's dish was emptied 
it was refilled ; and when a reveller signified 
that he had eaten enough, the pretended in- 
valid cried out : ' Would you have me die ? ' 
and once more the gorged Onondaga fell to. 
To add to the entertainment, some of the 
Frenchmen, who had brought violins to the 
wilderness, fiddled with might and main. At 
length the gluttony began to take the desired 
effect : one after another the Onondagas 
dropped to sleep to the soothing music of the 
violins. Then, when brute slumber had sealed 
the eyes of all, the colonists roused themselves 
for flight. Some one, probably Radisson, sug- 
gested that they were fifty-three wide-awake 
Frenchmen to one hundred sleeping savages, 
and that it would be easy to brain their 
enemies as they slept ; but the Jesuits would 
not sanction such a course. The Frenchmen 
threw open the gate, and carried the boats 
from the garret to the lakeside. They put up 
effigies of soldiers at conspicuous points within 
the enclosure, barred and locked the gate, and 
launched the vessels. They had swept across 
the lake and were well down the Oswego before 


day had dawned and the Indians had awakened 
from their heavy slumber. 

When the Onondagas recovered conscious- 
ness they were surprised at the deathlike still- 
ness. They peered through the palisades ; 
and, seeing the effigies of the soldiers, believed 
that their intended victims were within. But 
no sounds except the clucking and crowing of 
some fowls fell on their ears. They became 
suspicious and hammered at the gate ; and, 
when there was no answer, broke it down in 
fury, only to find the place deserted. An 
examination of the shore showed that heavy 
boats had been launched a few hours before. 
Believing that the powerful God of the white 
man was in league with the colonists, and had 
supplied them with these boats, the savages 
made no attempt to follow the fugitives, who, 
after sustaining the loss of three men in the 
rapids of the St Lawrence, reached Quebec 
on the 23rd of April. 

For another decade no further effort was to 
be made to civilize and christianize the Iroquois. 
During this period, however, a radical and 
much-needed change took place in the govern- 
ment of New France. Hitherto chartered 
companies had been in control, and their aim 
had been trade, not colonization. Until 1663 


Canada remained a trading station and a 
mission rather than a true colony. But in 
this year the king, Louis XIV, cancelled the 
charter of the Hundred Associates, proclaimed 
the colony under royal government, and sent 
out strong men from the motherland to govern 
the country. 

It was not long before the Iroquois began to 
feel the resistance of new forces in the settle- 
ments along the St Lawrence ; and in 1665, 
when a strong regiment of veterans, the 
Carignan-Salieres, under the Marquis de Tracy, 
landed in New France, the Iroquois who had 
been smiting the settlements slunk away 
to their fortified towns. In January 1666 
Courcelle, the governor, invaded the Mohawk 
country ; and though his expedition was a 
failure, it served as a warning to the Five 
Nations. In May Senecas and Mohawks came 
to Quebec to treat for peace. They assumed 
their ancient haughty air ; but Tracy was in 
no mood for this. He sentenced to death a 
Mohawk who had the boldness to boast of 
having tomahawked a Frenchman, and dis- 
missed the ambassadors with angry words. 
The Indians, discomfited, returned to their 
strongholds. At their heels followed Tracy 
and Courcelle with thirteen hundred men. 


At the approach of this army the Mohawks 
deserted their villages and escaped death. 
But the French set fire to the villages and 
desolated the Mohawk country. 

In the spring of 1667 the Mohawks came 
to Quebec humbly begging that missionaries, 
blacksmiths, and surgeons should be sent to 
live among them. The other tribes of the Five 
Nations followed their example. Once more 
the Jesuits went to the Iroquois and estab- 
lished missions among the Mohawks, the 
Oneidas, the Onondagas, and Senecas. For 
twenty years the devoted fathers laboured in 
this hard field. During the administrations 
of the governors Courcelle and Frontenac the 
Iroquois remained peaceable, but they became 
restless after the removal of Frontenac in 
1682. The succeeding governors, La Barre 
and Denonville, proved weak rulers, and the 
Mohawks began once more to send war-parties 
against the settlements. At length, in 1687, 
open war broke out. The missionaries, how- 
ever, had been withdrawn from the Iroquois 
country, just in time to escape the fury of the 

Not in vain did the Jesuits labour among 
the Five Nations. They made numerous 
converts, and persuaded many of them to 



move to Canada. Communities of Christian 
Iroquois and Hurons who had been adopted 
by the Five Nations settled near the Bay 
of Quinte, at La Montagne on the island of 
Montreal, and at Caughnawaga by the rapids 
of Lachine. The large settlements of ' pray- 
ing Indians ' still living at Caughnawaga and 
at St Regis, near Cornwall, are descendants of 
these Indians. 



WHILE the Jesuits carried the Cross to the 
Hurons, the Algonquins, and the Iroquois, 
other crusaders, equally noble and courage- 
ous, planted it on the spot where now stands 
the foremost city of the Dominion. The 
settlement of the large and fertile island at 
the confluence of the Ottawa and the St 
Lawrence had a motive all its own. Quebec 
was founded primarily for trade ; and so with 
practically all other settlements which have 
grown into great centres of population. But 
Montreal was originally intended solely for a 
mission station. Its founders had no thought 
of trade ; indeed, they were prohibited from 
dealing in furs, then the chief marketable 
product of the colony. 

We have seen that the men and women who 
founded the Sillery mission, and the H6tel- 
Dieu and the Ursuline convent at Quebec, 
received their inspiration from the Relations 



of the Jesuits. So likewise did the founders 
of the settlement on the island of Montreal. 
Jerome le Royer de la Dauversiere of La 
Fleche in Anjou, a receiver of taxes, and Abbe 
Jean Jacques Olier of Paris, were the prime 
movers in the undertaking. Each indepen- 
dently of the other had conceived the idea of 
establishing on the island of Hochelaga a 
mission for the conversion of the heathen in 
Canada. Meeting by accident at the Chateau 
of Meudon near Paris, they planned their 
enterprise, and decided to found a colony of 
devotees, composed of an order of priests, an 
order of sisters to care for the sick and infirm, 
and an order of nuns for the teaching of young 
Indians and the children of settlers at the mis- 
sion. These two enthusiasts went to work in a 
quite practical way to realize their ambition. 
They succeeded in interesting the Baron de 
Fancamp and three other wealthy gentlemen, 
and soon had a sum about $75,000 ample 
for the establishment of the colony. While 
they were busy at this work, Mademoiselle 
Jeanne Mance, a courageous and devout 
woman, was moved by one of Father Le 
Jeune's Relations to devote her life to the care 
of the wounded and suffering in the wilds of 
New France ; and the projected colony on 

From a portrait in the Chateau de Ramezay, Montreal 


the island of Montreal offered an opportunity 
for the fulfilment of her desire. Madame de 
Bullion, a rich and very charitable woman, 
had agreed to aid Olier and Dauversiere by 
endowing a hospital in the colony, and Jeanne 
Mance offered her services as nurse and 
housekeeper. A leader was needed, a man of 
soldierly training and pious life ; and in Paul 
de Chomedy, Sieur de Maisonneuve, a veteran 
of the wars in Holland, the ideal man was 
found. No attempt was made at this time 
to secure teachers; there would be at first 
neither white nor red children to teach, for 
there were no Indians living on the island of 
Montreal, and the colonists would not at first 
bring their families to this wildefness post. 
The funds collected and the leader found, the 
next step was to get permission from the 
Hundred Associates to settle on the island ; 
and here was a difficulty. The Associates 
had been liberal in land-grants to their own 
members ; and Jean de Lauzon, the president, 
had received for himself large concessions, 
among them the entire island of Montreal. 
However, he was persuaded, probably for a 
consideration, to part with a grant that 
brought him no return, and which he could 
visit only at the risk of his scalp. Olier and 
J.M. H 


Dauversiere and their associates secured the 
land, and Maisonneuve was appointed gover- 
nor of the new colony. 

The Jesuits had played an important . part 
in this undertaking. It was their Relations 
that had given the impulse, and the promoters 
of the colony had the able assistance of Father 
Charles Lalemant, whom we have already met 
as the first superior of the Jesuit order in New 
France. It was he who persuaded Jean de 
Lauzon to consent to surrender his grant, and 
it was to him that Maisonneuve first came 
to seek advice as to how he could best con- 
secrate his sword to the Church in Canada. 
And it was largely on Lalemant 's recommenda- 
tion that Maisonneuve received his appoint- 
ment as leader of the colonists and gover- 
nor of the colony. To Lalemant, too, came 
Jeanne Mance when she first heard the clear 
call to the new mission. 

The promoters of the ' Society of Our Lady 
of Montreal ' now set to work to collect re- 
cruits for the mission, provide supplies, and 
prepare vessels to transport the colonists to 
New France. All was ready about the middle 
of June 1641, and, while Dauversiere, Olier, 
and Fancamp remained in France to look after 
the interests of the colony there, Maisonneuve 


and Jeanne Mance, with three other women 
and about fifty men, set sail and arrived in 
Quebec before the end of August. Here they 
did not find the enthusiastic welcome which 
they expected. Maisonneuve had come with a 
special commission as governor of Montreal, 
and was coldly received by Montmagny, who 
was jealous of him, and who moreover be- 
lieved, no doubt rightly, that a divided 
authority would not be in the best interests 
of struggling New France. The Jesuits at 
Quebec tried to persuade Maisonneuve to 
abandon his enterprise. There were, they 
said, no inhabitants on the island of Montreal, 
it was in the direct route of the Mohawks, 
who annually haunted the Ottawa and St 
Lawrence, and swift destruction would surely 
be the fate of the colony. But Maisonneuve 
could not be moved from his fixed purpose ; 
he would go to Montreal even ' if every tree 
on that island were to be changed to an 

Accompanied by Father Vimont, the su- 
perior of the Jesuits, and Governor Mont- 
magny, Maisonneuve went up the river, and 
took formal possession of the island on the 
1 5th of October in the name of the ', Society 
of Our Lady of Montreal.' The colonists 


spent the winter at St Michel, near Sillery, 
for there was no room for the Montrealers in 
the buildings at Quebec. On May 8, 1642, 
Maisonneuve led his company in a pinnace, a 
barge, and two row-boats to the site of the 
new colony. Here, too, were Father Vimont 
and Madame de la Peltrie, who for the nonce 
had deserted her Ursulines to accompany 
Jeanne Mance to a field that offered greater 
excitement and danger. On the i8th of May, 
at a spot where tall warehouses now abound 
and where the varied roar of the traffic of a 
great city never ceases, they set up an altar, 
and Father Vimont consecrated the island 
mission. In the course of his sermon he 
uttered the prophetic words : ' You are a 
grain of mustard seed that shall rise and grow 
till its branches overshadow the earth. You 
are few, but your work is the work of God. 
His smile is upon you and your children shall 
fill the land.' The city of Montreal, the 
throbbing heart of the business life of Canada, 
with its half-million and more inhabitants 
and its magnificent charitable, religious, and 
educational institutions, is the fulfilment of 
his words. 

But the beginnings were feeble and dis- 
heartening. A few houses, flanked by a 


windmill and fort, and connected by a foot- 
path where now runs St Paul Street, repre- 
sented the beginnings of Montreal or Ville 
Marie, as the settlement had been christened 
by the Society in Paris. 

The Iroquois soon learned of Ville Marie. 
Within a few months a scalping party of 
Mohawks paid it a visit, and killed several 
workmen and wounded others. The wounded 
became the care of Jeanne Mance, who never 
henceforth lacked patients. Between the 
labourers injured by accident in the forest 
and the wounded from Iroquois fights, the 
gentle-handed nurse and her assistants were 
kept always busy. Many of her patients were 
friendly Indians who had suffered in the raids ; 
sometimes even a sorely smitten Iroquois 
would be borne to the rude hospital. 

But the mission did not grow. TheAlgon- 
quins and Hurons viewed the island of 
Montreal as too exposed for a permanent 
encampment, for the Iroquois ever hovered 
about it. At no season of the year was Ville 
Marie immune from attack ; night and day 
the inhabitants had to be on the alert ; and 
often the cry ' The Iroquois ! ' sent the entire 
population to the shelter of the fort. For 
fifteen years there was little change in the 


population, and year after year the same 
dangers and hardships faced the people. But 
Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance hoped on, 
confident that Ville Marie was destined to 
have a glorious future. In 1653 Marguerite 
Bourgeoys, a woman of great force of char- 
acter, arrived in the colony to open a school. 
Finding no white pupils, she gathered about 
her a few red children, and made her school- 
room in a stable assigned to her by Maison- 
neuve. Presently more pupils came, and 
among them some white children. In 1658 
she returned to France to secure assistants, 
and when, in the following year, she resumed 
her labours at Ville Marie, it was as the head 
of the * Congregation of the Sisters of Notre 
Dame,' an organization that has so greatly 
developed as to make its influence felt, not only 
in Canada, but in the United States as well. 

Meanwhile, in 1642, Abbe Olier had founded 
the Seminary of St Sulpice in Paris ; and 
during the intervening years had been assidu- 
ously training missionaries to take over the 
spiritual control of Ville Marie. Since its 
founding the Jesuits Poncet, Du Peron, 
Le Moyne, and Pi j art, who had been trained 
in the difficult school of the Huron mission, 
and Le Jeune and Druillettes, had ministered 


to the inhabitants. But in August 1657 the 
Sulpician priests Gabriel de Queylus, Gabriel 
Souart, and Dominic Galinier arrived at Ville 
Marie, and the Jesuits immediately surren- 
dered the parish to them. Henceforth Ville 
Marie was to be the peculiar care of the Sul- 
picians, giving them for many years enough 
of both difficulty and danger. The Iroquois 
peril did not abate. Never a month passed 
but the alarm-bell rang out to warn the settlers 
that the savages were at hand. Even the 
priests went about their duties with sword at 
side ; and two of them, Vignal and Le Maitre, 
fell beneath the tomahawk. Only the courage, 
watchfulness, and foresight of Maisonneuve 
and of such men as Sergeant-Ma j or Lambert 
Closse, who gave his life for the colony, saved 
Ville Marie from utter destruction. And as 
years went on the Iroquois grew bolder. 
Having scattered the Hurons and the Algon- 
quins, they now threatened every trading- 
post and mission station in Canada. 

In 1660 the climax came. Early in the 
spring of that year the harassed mission at 
Ville Marie learned that several hundred 
Iroquois, who had wintered on the upper 
Ottawa, were coming down, and that another 
horde, approaching by way of the Richelieu, 


would join forces with them. It was the 
purpose of the savages to destroy Ville Marie 
and Three Rivers and Quebec, and to wipe 
out the French on the St Lawrence for good 
and all. 

There was at this time in Ville Marie a 
young soldier named Adam Daulac, or Bollard, 
Sieur des Ormeaux, twenty-five years old. 
He believed that the best defence was attack, 
and boldly proposed to ascend the Ottawa, 
with a band of sixteen volunteers, and way- 
lay the Iroquois coming from the north-west. 
And so the gallant young men bade farewell 
to their friends and set out. In two large 
canoes they paddled up the Ottawa, past the 
swift waters at Ste Anne, through the smooth 
stretch of the Lake of the Two Mountains, up 
the fierce current at Carillon, and then on to 
the rapids of the Long Sault. Here they 
paused ; this was a fitting place for battle. 
The Iroquois would never expect to find a 
handful of Frenchmen here, and they could be 
surprised as they raced down the rapids. On 
a level stretch near the foot of the Sault there 
was a rude fort ready at hand, a palisaded 
structure which had served during the previous 
autumn as a shelter for an Algonquin war- 
party. The French drew the canoes up on 


the shore, and stored the provisions and 
ammunition in the fort. Then all save the 
watchful sentinels lay down for a much-needed 
rest. On the following day Daulac's band 
was reinforced by four Algonquins and forty 
Hurons, the Hurons led by the chief Anna- 
hotaha, an inveterate foe of the Iroquois, who 
had on more than one occasion taken terrible 
revenge on the enemies of his people. Daulac, 
now in command of sixty men, confidently 
awaited the Iroquois. In the meantime axe 
and saw and shovel were plied to erect a 
second row of palisades and to fill the space 
between with earth to the height of a man's 
breast. Scouts went out and discovered the 
encampment of the Iroquois, and at last 
brought the news that two canoes were 
running the rapids. Daulac hurriedly placed 
several of his best marksmen in ambush at a 
spot where the Iroquois were likely to land. 
The musketeers, however, in their excitement, 
did not kill all the canoemen. Two of the 
Iroquois escaped and sped back through the 
forest to warn their countrymen, and soon 
a hundred canoes came leaping down the 
turbulent waters. For a moment Daulac 
and his men watched the advancing savages. 
Then they dashed into the fort to prepare for 


the fight. Against their defences rushed the 
Iroquois. Again and again the defenders drove 
them back with great loss. And for a week the 
heroic band, living on short rations of crushed 
corn and water from a well they had dug 
within the fort, kept the assailants at bay. 
During this time the Iroquois received large 
reinforcements, but to no avail. At length 
they made shields of split logs heavy enough 
to resist bullets ; and presently the bewildered 
defenders of the fort saw a wooden wall 
advancing against them. They fired rapid, 
despairing volleys ; a few of the shield- 
bearers fell, but their places were quickly 
filled from those in the rear. At the foot of 
the palisades the Iroquois cast aside the 
shields, and, hatchet in hand, hacked an 
opening. The end had come. The Iroquois 
breached the wall. But Daulac and his men 
stood to the last, brandishing knife and axe, 
while with fierce war-cries the Iroquois 
bounded into the fort ; and when the sounds 
of battle ceased there remained only three 
Frenchmen, living but mortally wounded, on 
whom the savages could glut their vengeance. 1 
The Iroquois had won, but they had no 

1 The story of the fight was brought to Montreal by some 
Hurons who deserted Daulac's party and escaped. 


stomach for raiding the settlements. If seven- 
teen Frenchmen, assisted by a few Indians, 
could keep their hosts at bay for a week, it 
would be useless to attack strongly fortified 
posts. And so Daulac and his men at this 
* Canadian Thermopylae ' had really turned 
aside the tide of war from New France. The 
settlements were saved, and for a time traders 
and missionaries journeyed along the St 
Lawrence and the Ottawa unmolested. 

In 1663, when Louis XIV took New France 
under his wing, the surviving members of the 
original Society of Our Lady of Montreal made 
over the island to the Sulpicians, who assumed 
the liabilities of the Society, and took up the 
task of looking after the education of the in- 
habitants and the care of the sick. Four 
years later the Seminary of St Sulpice was 
given judicial rights in the mission of Ville 
Marie. In 1668 five more Sulpicians came 
to the colony, among them Rene de Galinee 
and Dollier de Casson, who were to win dis- 
tinction as missionaries and explorers. Many 
Sulpician missions pushed out from Ville 
Marie, along the upper St Lawrence and the 
north shore of Lake Ontario. 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century 
the complexion of Ville Marie, then generally 


called Montreal, had somewhat changed. The 
Jesuits, the Recollets, who had returned to 
New France in 1670, and the Sulpicians all 
laboured there. Moreover, from a mere 
mission station it had become an important 
trading centre ; and as such it was to con- 
tinue. In position it was well adapted for 
the fur trade, and after the British took 
possession in 1760 it became the emporium 
of a great traffic in the fur-fields of the north 
and west. But its glorious days are those of 
its infancy, the days of Maisonneuve and 
Daulac, of Jeanne Mance and Marguerite 
Bourgeoys, of Rene de Galinee and Dollier de 



THE establishment of royal government in 
1663 gave new life to the missions of Canada, 
and the missionaries pressed forward with un- 
flagging zeal. They penetrated to the re- 
motest known tribes and blazed fresh trails 
for traders and settlers in the western and 
northern wildernesses. We have not space 
here to tell the story of these pathfinders, but 
a few examples may be given. In 1665 
Father Claude Allouez went to Lake Superior 
to begin a sojourn of twenty-five years among 
the Indians in the region which now forms 
part of the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and 
Minnesota. In 1666 Father Gabriel Druil- 
lettes, ' the patriarch ' of the Abnaki mission, 
who had already borne the Cross to the Crees 
of the north, began his labours among the 
Algonquins of Georgian Bay and Lake 
Superior. In 1669 and 1670 the Sulpicians 
Dollier de Casson and Rene de Galinee ex- 
plored and charted Lake Erie and the waters 



between it and Lake Huron. In 1670 Father 
Claude Dablon, superior of the western 
missions, joined Father Allouez at the mission 
of St Frangois-Xavier on Green Bay ; and, 
among the Winnebagoes of this region and the 
Mascoutens and Miamis between the rivers 
Fox and Wisconsin, he learned of ' the famous 
river called the Mississippi.' In 1672 Father 
Charles Albanel toiled from the Saguenay to 
Hudson Bay, partly as missionary, but chiefly 
to lay claim -to the country for New France, 
and to watjch the operations of the newly 
founded Hudson's Bay Company. 

It was the 25th of May 1670 when Galinee 
and Casson arrived at Sault Ste Marie, after 
an arduous canoe journey from their winter- 
ing camp on Lake Erie, near the site of the 
present town of Port Dover. At the Sault 
they found a thriving mission. It had a 
capacious chapel and a comfortable dwelling- 
house ; it was surrounded by a palisade of 
cedars, and about it were cultivated bits of 
ground planted with wheat, Indian corn, peas, 
and pumpkins. Near by were clusters of bark 
wigwams, the homes of Ojibwas and other 
Indians, who came here each year to catch the 
whitefish that teemed in the waters of the 
rapids fronting the settlement. 


One of the priests in charge of this mission, 
when the Sulpicians halted at it on their 
circuitous journey back to Montreal, was the 
young Jesuit Jacques Marquette, a man of 
delicate mould, indomitable will, keen in- 
tellect, and ardent faith. He was not to re- 
main long at Sault Ste Marie ; for he had 
heard ' the call of the west ' ; and in the 
summer of this year he set out for the mission 
of St Esprit, at La Pointe, on the south-west 
shore of Lake Superior. Here there was a 
motley collection of Indians, among them 
many Hurons and Petuns, who had fled to 
this remote post to be out of reach of the 
Iroquois. These exiles from Huronia still re- 
membered the Jesuits and retained ' a little 
Christianity.' St Esprit was not only a mis- 
sion ; it was a centre of the fur trade, and to 
it came Illinois Indians from the Mississippi 
and Sioux from the western prairies. .From 
these Marquette learned of the great river, 
and from their description of it he was con- 
vinced that it flowed into the Gulf of California. 
He had a burning desire to visit the savage 
hordes that dwelt along this river, and a long- 
ing to explore it to its mouth. But while he 
meditated the journey war broke out between 
the Sioux the Iroquois of the west and the 


Hurons and Ottawas of St Esprit. The Sioux 
won, and the vanquished Hurons and Ottawas 
took to flight, the Hurons going to Michili- 
mackinac and the Ottawas to Great Manitoulin 
Island. Marquette followed the Hurons, and 
set up a mission at Point St Ignace, on the 
north shore of the strait of Michilimackinac. 

Meanwhile ' the great intendant,' Talon, 
was pushing out in all directions for new 
territory to add to the French dominions in 
America. And just before the end of his 
brilliant administration he commissioned the 
explorer Louis Jolliet to find and explore the 
Mississippi, of which so much had been heard 
from missionaries, traders, and Indians. Like 
Marquette, Talon believed that this river 
flowed into the Western Sea the Pacific 
ocean and that it would open a route to 
China and the Indies ; and it was directed that 
Marquette should accompany Jolliet on the 

Jolliet left Montreal in the autumn of 1672 
and reached Michilimackinac, where he was 
to spend the winter with Marquette, just as 
the ice was forming on lake and river. When 
he drew up his canoe in front of the palisaded 
mission at Point St Ignace, Marquette felt 
that his ambitions were about to be realized. 

From a portrait in the Chateau do Ramezay, Montreal 


He was disappointed in his flock of Algonquins 
and the feeble remnant of Hurons, and he 
hoped to gather about him on the Great Plains 
of whose vegetation and game he had heard 
marvellous accounts a multitude of Indians 
who would welcome his Gospel message. 
Dablon and Allouez had already touched the 
outskirts of this country, and their success 
was an earnest of great things in store. 

The winter passed slowly for Marquette ; 
but at length, on May 17, 1673, the explorer 
and the missionary with five assistants a 
feeble band to risk a plunge into the unknown 
launched their canoes and headed westward. 

The explorers first shaped their course 
along the northern shore of Lake Michigan, 
then steered south-west until they reached 
the mouth of the Menominee river, flowing 
into Green Bay. Here they rested for a brief 
period among friendly Menominees, who tried 
to persuade them to give up their venture. 
According to the Menominees, the banks of 
the Mississippi were infested by savage tribes 
who tortured and slew all intruders into their 
domains. As this did not seem sufficient to 
discourage Jolliet and Marquette, they added 
that demons haunted the land bordering the 
river and monsters the river itself, and that, 

J.M I 


even if they escaped savages, demons, and 
monsters, they would perish from the excessive 
heat of the country Both Jolliet and Mar- 
quette had heard such stories from Indians 
before. Pressing on to the south end of Green 
Bay, they entered the Fox river and ascended 
it until they reached Lake Winnebago. After 
crossing this lake they continued westward 
up the extension of the Fox. They were now 
in the land of the Mascoutens and Miamis. 
The country teemed with life ; birds filled 
the air with whirr of wing and with song ; as 
the voyagers paddled ever westward deer 
and elk came from their forest lairs to gaze 
with wondering eyes at these unfamiliar in- 
truders on their haunts. The Mascoutens 
were friendly, and supplied the travellers with 
bison flesh and venison, and with guides to 
direct them over the watershed to the Wis- 
consin. They carried the canoes over a forest 
trail, and launched them on this river ; and 
then with exulting hearts swept forward on 
the last stage of their journey to the Missis- 
sippi. At length, on the i7th of June, they 
reached the great river and landed at the 
place where now stands Prairie du Chien. 
They had the feeling of conquerors, but of 
conquerors whose greatest battle has yet to 


be fought. Out of the far north came this 
mysterious river ; but whither did it go ? 
Did these waters sweep onward till they lost 
themselves in the Pacific, or did they pour 
into some southern bay of the Atlantic ? 
Such were the questions that agitated the 
minds of these first of Frenchmen to gaze on 
the ' Father of Waters,' 1 questions that were 
not to be laid at rest until La Salle, nine years 
later, toiled down the river and from its 
mouth viewed the wide expanse of the Gulf 
of Mexico. 

After a brief rest the party launched their 
canoes and for over a week drifted downward 
with the current, anchoring their canoes in 
mid-stream at night for fear of an attack by 
hostile Indians. But during this time they 
saw no human beings ; the only living things 
that caught their eyes as they sped past forest 
and plain were the deer browsing along the 
banks, the birds circling overhead, and im- 
mense herds of buffalo moving like huge 
armies over the grassy slopes. At length they 

1 It is thought possible that in 1658-59 Pierre Esprit Radisson 
and Medard Chouart des Groseilliers crossed the Mississippi 
while hunting furs in the country west of Lake Superior; but 
there is an element of doubt as to this. Save for the Spaniards, 
Jolliet and Marquette were the first white men on the Mississippi, 
so far as known. 


reached a village of friendly Illinois, and here 
they were feasted on fish, dog, and buffalo 
meat, and spent the balmy midsummer night 
in the open, sleeping on buffalo robes. While 
at this village, Marquette, who had a rare gift 
of tongues, addressed the Illinois in Algonquin, 
and thus preached the Gospel for the first time 
to the Indians of the Mississippi. Here their 
hosts warned them of the dangers they were 
going to death from savages or demons 
awaited them in the south and presented 
them with a calumet as a passport to protect 
them against the tribes below. 

After leaving this village the explorers came 
upon a * hideous monster,' a huge fish, the 
appearance of which almost made them credit 
the stories of the Indians. According to 
Marquette : 'His head was like that of a 
tiger, his nose was sharp, and somewhat re- 
sembled a wildcat ; his beard was long, his 
ears stood upright, the colour of his head was 
grey, and his neck black.' Onward swept the 
explorers past the mouth of the Illinois. A 
few miles above the present city of Alton 
they paused to gaze on some high rocks on 
which fabulous creatures were pictured. 
' They are,' wrote Marquette in his narrative, 
* as large as a calf, with head and horns like 


a goat ; their eyes red ; beard like a tiger's, 
and a face like a man's. Their tails are so 
long that they pass over their heads and be- 
tween their forelegs, under the belly, and end- 
ing like a fish's tail. They are painted red, 
green, and black.' The Indians of the Missis- 
sippi were certainly not without imagination 
and possessed some artistic skill. No doubt 
it was these pictured rocks that had originated 
among the Menominees and Illinois the stories 
of the demons with which they had regaled 
Marquette and Jolliet. 

While the voyagers were still discussing 
the pictured rocks, their canoes began to toss 
and heave on rushing waters, and they found 
themselves in the midst of plunging logs and 
tumbling trees. They were at the mouth of 
the Missouri. As they threaded their way 
past this dangerous point, Marquette resolved 
that he would one day ascend this river that 
he might c preach the Gospel to all the peoples 
of this New World who have so long grovelled 
in the darkness of infidelity.' 

Onward still into the unknown ! At the 
mouth of the Ohio then called by the In- 
dians the Ouabouskigon * they drew up their 

1 This word, as well as the word Ohio, or O-he-ho, means ' The 


canoes to rest and then advanced a little 
farther south to an Illinois village. The in- 
habitants of this village wore European cloth- 
ing and had beads, knives, and hatchets, 
obtained no doubt from the Spaniards. The 
Indians told the explorers that the mouth of 
the river was distant only a ten-days' journey, 
whereas it was in reality a thousand miles 
away. But with increased hope the French- 
men once more launched their canoes and went 
on until they came to the mouth of the 
Arkansas. Here they met with the first 
hostile demonstration. Indians, with bows 
bent and war-clubs raised, threatened de- 
struction to these unknown whites ; but 
Marquette, calm, courageous, and confident, 
stood up in the bow of his canoe and held aloft 
the calumet the Illinois had given him. The 
passport was respected and the elders of the 
village, which was close at hand, invited the 
voyagers ashore and feasted them with saga- 
mite and fish. Leaving this village, they 
pressed southward twenty odd miles to an- 
other Arkansas village. The attitude of the 
Indians here alarmed them, and this, with the 
apprehension that the mouth of the Mississippi 
was much farther away than they had been 
led to believe, decided them to return. 


Jolliet and Marquette were now satisfied 
with what they had achieved. The south- 
ward trend of the river proved conclusively 
that it could not fall into the Gulf of California, 
and, as they were in latitude 33 41', the river 
could not empty into the Atlantic in Virginia. 
It must therefore join the sea either on the 
coast of Florida or in the Gulf of Mexico. 
Moreover, to proceed farther would but add 
weary miles to the difficult return journey. 
But the chief reason for turning back is best 
given in Marque tte's own words : 

We considered that the advantage of our 
travels would be altogether lost to our 
nation if we fell into the hands of the 
Spaniards, from whom we could expect 
no other treatment but death or slavery ; 
besides, we saw that we were not prepared 
to resist the Indians, the allies of the 
Europeans, who continually infested the 
lower part of the river. 

On the iyth of July, just one month after 
they first sighted the waters of the Mississippi, 
the explorers turned their canoes northward. 
A little south of the Illinois river some friendly 
Indians told them of a shorter way to Lake 
Michigan than by the Wisconsin and Fox 


river route. These Indians were anxious to 
have Marquette remain with them and 
establish a mission. He was unable to com- 
ply with their request, for in the miasmal 
region of the lower Mississippi he had con- 
tracted a severe malarial fever ; but he 
promised to return to them as soon as his 
health permitted. The explorers were now 
joined by a chief and a band of Indians as 
guides to Lake Michigan, and with these they 
ascended the Illinois and then the river Des 
Plaines. From the river Des Plaines they 
portaged their canoes to the Chicago river 
and descended it to Lake Michigan. They 
arrived at Green Bay at the end of Septem- 
ber, having travelled in all, since leaving this 
spot, over twenty-five hundred miles. Mar- 
quette was too ill to go farther ; and he re- 
mained at Green Bay to recruit his strength, 
while Jolliet hastened to Quebec to report 
to Frontenac the results of his expedition. 
Unfortunately, the canoe in which Jolliet 
travelled was upset in the Lachine rapids 
and the papers containing his charts and the 
account of his journey were lost ; however, 
he was able to piece out from memory the 
story of his Ulysses-like wanderings. 

By the autumn of 1674 Marquette thought 


that he had completely recovered his health, 
and, having received permission from his 
superior, he set out for the Illinois country 
on the 25th of October to establish the 
mission of the Immaculate Conception. He 
was accompanied on this journey by two 
assistants two true heroes known to history 
only as Pierre and Jacques, and a band of 
Potawatomis and Illinois. In ten canoes the 
party paddled southward from Green Bay, 
for nearly a month buffeting the tempestu- 
ous autumn seas of Lake Michigan. They 
ascended the Chicago river for six miles and 
encamped. Marquette could go no farther ; 
he was once more prostrated with illness, 
and a severe hemorrhage threatened to carry 
him off. But his valiant spirit conquered, 
and during the winter he was able to minister 
to some Illinois, who were encamped a short 
distance away and who paid him occasional 
visits. By the spring he had so far recovered 
that he decided to undertake the journey to 
the Mississippi, his heart set on founding a 
mission among the tribes there. On the 
I3th of March he and his two helpers broke 
camp and portaged their canoe to the Des 
Plaines. Near the junction of this river with 
the Illinois was the Indian town of Old 


Kaskaskia. The Indians of this town gave 
him a welcome worthy of a conqueror, such 
as indeed he really was. He went among them 
teaching and preaching ; but brain and body 
were burning with fever ; he felt that he had 
not long to live, and if he would die among his 
own people he must hasten home. He sum- 
moned the Indians to a grand council. And, 
in one of God's first temples a meadow 
decked with spring flowers and roofed by the 
blue vault of heaven he preached to a con- 
gregation of over three thousand chiefs, 
warriors, women, and children. His sermon 
finished, he blessed his hearers, and, leaving 
his words to sink into their hearts, bade them 

Pierre and Jacques now made ready the 
canoe, and the journey to Michilimackinac 
began. When they reached Lake Michigan 
Marquette was only half conscious. While he 
lay on the robes piled in the bottom of the 
canoe, his faithful henchmen paddled furiously 
to reach their destination. But their efforts 
were in vain ; Marquette saw that his end 
was approaching and bade them turn the 
canoe to land. And on May 19, 1675, on the 
bleak shore of Lake Michigan, this hero of the 
Cross, the greatest of the missionary explorers, 


entered into his rest. He was only thirty- 
eight ; he had not finished his work ; he had 
not realized his ambitions ; but his memory 
lives, a force for good, as that of one who dared 
and endured and passionately followed the 
path of the setting sun. 



THE priests laboured on in their mission-fields 
from Cape Breton to the Mississippi and north 
towards Hudson Bay, wherever there were 
Indians. In the Iroquois country alone did 
they fail to establish themselves securely. 
The nearest neighbours of the Iroquois, the 
English of New York and New England, 
stirred by French and Indian raids on their 
borders and regarding all Frenchmen as 
enemies, did what they could to destroy the 
influence of the French priests and keep them 
out of the country. Lord Bellomont, governor 
of New York, even threatened to hang any 
priest found in his colony. Yet the Jesuits 
made another attempt in 1702 ; but it did not 
succeed, and a few years later the Iroquois 
mission was abandoned. 

Among the Algonquin tribes the old dread 
of the priests had vanished and they were 
everywhere hailed as friends. They were no 



longer in danger of assassination, and, apart 
from the hardships inevitable to wilderness 
life, cheir lot was not an unpleasant one. 
Perhaps their worst enemy was the brandy 
traffic carried on by the coureurs de bois, 
which brought in its wake drunkenness, 
disease, licentiousness, and crime. The mis- 
sionaries fought this evil, with the whole- 
hearted support of Laval, the great bishop of 
Quebec, and of his successors. But for their 
opposition it is probable that the Indians in 
contact with the French would have been 
utterly swept away ; as it was, brandy thinned 
their numbers quite as much as war. Some 
of the coureurs de bois, who displayed their 
wares and traded for furs at the mission 
stations, were almcst as obnoxious to the 
priests as the brandy which they offered. 
Among them were many worthy men, like the 
great Du Lhut ; but the majority were ' white 
savages,' whose conduct went far to nullify the 
teaching and example of the missionaries. 

Thus the missions went on until the British 
came. For more than fifty years the conflict 
between the two nations for mastery con- 
tinued intermittently ; and finally in 1760 
the French struck their flag and departed. 
The victors viewed the religious orders with 


distrust ; they regarded the priests as political 
agents ; and they passed an edict that such 
Jesuits and Recollets as were in Canada might 
remain and ' die where they are, but they must 
not add to their number.' Of the Jesuits only 
twelve remained, and the last of these, Father 
Casot, died in 1800. 

In looking back over the work of the 
missionaries in New France, it would seem 
tnat their visible harvest was a scant one, 
since the Indian races for whom they toiled 
have disappeared from history and are ap- 
parently doomed to extinction. This, of 
course, is due to natural causes over which the 
priests had no control and which they would 
thankfully have had otherwise. It cannot 
be questioned that their work operated for 
the benefit of the natives. But the priceless 
contribution of the missionaries lies in the 
example which they gave to the world. Dur- 
ing the greater part of two centuries in the 
wilds they bore themselves manfully and 
fought a good fight. In all that time not one 
of all the men in that long procession of 
missionaries is known to have disgraced him- 
self or to have played the coward in the face 
of danger or disaster. 


From a painting in the House of the Immaculate Conception, Montreal 


The influence of the priests, however, was 
not confined to the -Indians. It permeated 
the whole colony and lives to the present 
day. In no country in the world is there 
a more peaceable and kindly or moral and 
devout people than in the province of Quebec, 
largely because they have kept in their primi- 
tive simplicity the lessons taught by the clergy 
of New France. When the Revolution swept 
away religion and morals in Old France, it 
left untouched the French of Canada ; and 
the descendants of the peasants of Anjou, 
Picardy, and Poitou kept alive in the New 
World the beliefs and customs, the simple 
faith and reverence for authority, of their 
ancestors in the Old World. Throughout the 
length and breadth of New France the priests 
and nuns were the teachers of the people. 
And the seminaries, schools, and colleges 
which they founded continue to shape the 
morals and character of the French Canadians 
of to-day. 

It may be doubted whether the British 
government acted wisely after winning Canada 
in suppressing the religious orders. At any 
rate, after the unhappy rebellions of 1837 the 
government adopted a more generous policy ; 
and the Jesuits and the Oblates came to 


Canada in ever -increasing numbers to take 
up missionary work anew. Like the priests 
of old they went into the wilderness, no 
difficulty too great to be overcome, no peril 
too hazardous to be risked. In the Mackenzie 
valley, in the far Yukon, and among the 
tumbled hills of British Columbia they planted 
the Cross, establishing missions and schools. 
But the great age of the Church in Canada 
was the heroic age of Lalemant and Brebeuf, 
of Jogues and Bressani, of Allouez and 
Marquette. Their memories are living lights 
illuminating the paths of all workers among 
those who sit in spiritual darkness. The re- 
solution of these first missionaries, not to be 
overcome by hardship, torture, or threat of 
death itself, has served in time of trial and 
danger to brace missionaries of all churches. 
Brebeuf still lives and labours in the wilder- 
ness regions of Canada ; Marquette still toils 
on into the unknown. 


THE Relations of the Jesuits are, of course, the 
prime sources of information. Consult the edition 
edited by R. G. Thwaites, The Jesuit Relations and 
Allied Documents, seventy-three volumes (1896- 
1901). This gives the original French text with 
an English translation. See also Rochemonteix, 
Les Jesuites et la Nouvelle France; Parkman, 
Pioneers of France, The Old Regime in Canada, 
The Jesuits in North America, La Salle and the 
Discovery of the Great West, Frontenac and New 
France ; Harris, Pioneers of the Cross in Canada ; 
Jones, Old Huronla, the fifth report Of the Bureau 
of Archives for the Province of Ontario ; Marshall, 
Christian Missions] Campbell, Pioneer Priests of 
North America. 

The following general histories contain many 
illuminating pages on the missions : Faillon, His- 
toire de la Colonie Franqaise ; Charlevoix, Histoire 
de la Nouvelle-France ; Boucher, Canada in the 
Seventeenth Century ; Sagard, Histoire du Canada ; 
Kingsford, History of Canada; Shortt and Doughty, 
Canada and its Provinces (especially the chapter 
in the second volume by the distinguished priest, 
Rev. Lewis Drummond, SJ.) ; Winsor, Narrative 
and Critical History of America. 

J.M. K 


Reference works with valuable articles on the 
missions and the Indians are: The Catholic En- 
cyclopaedia ; Hodge, Handbook of American Indians 
North of Mexico ; White, Handbook of Indians of 
Canada, adapted from Hodge. 


Adventurers of Canada, the, fit 
out expedition against New 
France, 33; their joy at the 
Kirkes' success, 38, 39-40 ; 
forced to make reparation, 


Ahuntsic, origin of name, 16 n. 
Aiguillon, Duchesse d', founds 

the Hotel-Dieu, 66. 
Albanel, Father Charles, his 

mission to Hudson Bay, 126. 
Alexander, Sir William, his 

plans against the French in 

Canada, 33. 
Algonquins, the, 3, 8, 23, 70-1, 

87, 94 ; mission among, 65, 

72, 82, 140-1. 
Allouez, Father Claude, Indian 

missionary, 125, 126, 129. 
Annahotaha, a Huron chief, 


Baillif, Father Georges le, 7. 
Bellomont, Lord, governor of 

New York, 140. 
Bourgeoys, Marguerite, founds 

the 'Congregation of the 

Sisters of Notre Dame,' 118. 
Boursier, Father Daniel, 33 ; 

taken prisoner by the Kirkes, 

Brandy traffic, the, Jesuit 

opposition to, 141. 
Brebeuf, Father Jean de, 10, 

14-15, 16, 19-21: with the 
Montagnais, 17; his missions 
in Huronia, 19-22, 25-8, 51- 
65 ; taken prisoner to Eng- 
land, 42-3; returns to Canada, 
47-9 ; among the Hurons, 49, 
53 ; his death at the hands 
of the Iroquois, 76-8; his 
vow, 78. 

Bressani, Father, in Huronia, 
73, 85 ; tortured by the Iro- 
quois, 92-3. 

Brewerton, Captain, with the 
Kirkes' expedition, 40. 

Brute, Etienne, guide and in- 
terpreter, 25. 

Bullion, Madame de, endows 
hospital in Montreal, 113. 

Caen, Emery de, and the Jesuits, 
12 ; takes over Quebec from 
the Kirkes, 44, 48. 

Caen Company, their antagon- 
ism towards the missions in 
Canada, 7, n ; discourage 
settlement and agriculture, 
29 ; their charter annulled, 
30 ; renewed, 44. 

Canada. See New France. 

Carignan - Salieres regiment, 
their arrival in New France, 

Casot, Father, last of the Jesuits 
in Canada, 142. 




Chabanel, Father, murdered 
by a Huron, 82-4. 

Champlain, Samuel de, gover- 
nor of New France, I, 13, 18 ; 
assists the Hurons and Al- 
gonquins against the Iro- 

?uois, 3-5 ; his interest in 
ndian missions, I, 4, 7, 18 ; 
surrenders to the Kirkes, 35, 
38-9, 41 ; returns to Canada, 
47-9, So, 65, 68. 

Chastelain, Father Pierre, in 
Huronia, 57, 62. 

Chaumonot, Father, among the 
Neutrals, 64-5 ; envoy to the 
Onondagas, 100-1, 102. 

Closse, Sergeant-Major Lam- 
bert, gives his life for Mont- 
real, 119. 

Company of New France, 
founding of the, 31 ; its 
colonizing expedition to Can- 
ada, 32, 34 ; captured by the 
Kirkes, 36-8 ; Canada re- 
stored to, 46-8 ; its charter 
cancelled, 67, 108, 113. 

Company of St Malo and 
Rouen, opposes missionary 
effort in Canada and loses its 
charter, 6-7. 

' Congregation of the Sisters 
of Notre Dame' founded, 

Courcelle, Sieur de, governor 
of Canada, 108, 109. 

Couture, Guillaume, adopted 
by the Iroquois, 90-1, 94, 95. 

Dablon, Father, envoy and 
missionary to the Ononda- 
gas, 100-1, 126, 129. 

Daillon, Joseph de la Roche 
de, ii ; his mission to Hur- 
onia, 14-15, 16 ; with Bre- 

beuf among the Hurons, 19- 
22, 25-7 ; at the capture of 
Quebec, 41, 42-3. 

Daniel, Father Antoine, 47, 49; 
in Huronia, 51-3; murdered 
by the Iroquois, 73-5. 

Daulac or Dollard, Adam, his 
gallant fight with the Iro- 
quois, 120-3. 

Dauversiere, Je>6me le Royer 
de la, a founder of the Mont- 
real mission, 112, 114. 

Davost, Father Ambroise, 47, 
49 ; in Huronia, 51-3. 

Denonville, governor of Can- 
ada, 109. 

Dollier de Casson, Sulpician 
missionary and explorer, 123, 
125, 126. 

Druillettes, Father Gabriel, 
Indian missionary, 118, 125. 

Du Lhut, French trader, 141. 

Duplessis - Bochart, Cham- 
plain's lieutenant, 48. 

Fancamp, Baron de, subscribes 
to Montreal mission, 112, 

Five Nations, the. See Iro- 

Frontenac, governor of Can- 
ada, 109. 

Galinee, Rene de, Sulpician 

missionary and explorer, 123! 

125, 126. 

Galinier, Father Dominic, IK,. 
Garnier, Father, 64 ; murder^ 

by the Iroquois, 82-3. 
Garreau, Father Leonard, with 

the Petuns, 84; murdered, 87. 
Girard, Father Francois, 33 ; 

taken prisoner by the Kirkes, 




Goupil, Rene", murdered by the 

Iroqnois, 90-1. 
Great Britain and the Jesuits 

in Canada, 142, 143-4. 
Greslon, Father Adrian, with 

the Petuns, 84. 

Hubert, Louis, the first French 
colonist in Canada, 13. 

Hebert, Madame, 45. 

Huguenots, and Canada mis- 
sions, 6-7 ; and the Jesuits, 
II, 12, 29-30, 42 ; their exclu- 
sion from Canada, 30, 31, 48. 

Huronia, description of, 22-4 ; 
native life in, 23-4 ; R6collet 
mission in, 2-5, 8 ; Jesuit mis- 
sions in, 25-8, 51-65, 70-80, 
81-2, 84-6 ; raided by the Iro- 
quois, 69-70, 73-80, 82-3 ; end 
cf the mission, 87. 

Hurons, the, 2-4, 22 ; and the 
Jesuits, 19-20 ; clans, govern- 
ment, and religion of, 24-5, 
28 ; derivation of name, 23 n. ; 
superstitions and customs of, 
54-7; Dream Feast, 55-6; 
Feast of the Dead, 56-7 ; 
war with the Iroquois, 08-80, 
121-3; dispersion of, 80-1,82, 
85-6, 97, 98, 103, 127. See 

Illinois, the, 132-4, 137. 

Indians, their joy at the return 
of the French, 48-9. See 
under tribal name, 
oqupis, the, Champlain's ex- 
peditions against, 3-4, 22 ; 
on the war-path against the 
French, 21, 97-102, 117, 119- 
123 ; against the Hurons and 
Algonquins, 68-80, 84-5 ; 
against the Petuns, 83, 86 ; 

and other tribes, 86-7 ; the 
Jesuit mission among, 89- 
110, 140. 

Jamay, Father Denis, a founder 
of the Recollei mission in 
Canada, 2, 5. 

Jesuits, the, 2, 9 ; their arrival 
in Canada, 10-13, 17-19, 29- 
33 ; their ' Relations,' 14 and 
note, 66; their Huron mission, 
20-2, 25-8 ; taken prisoners 
to England, 41, 42-3; their 
return to Canada, 45, 47-50, 
67, 115 ; their mission in 
Huronia, 51-65, 70-88 ; their 
Iroquois mission, 89, 97, 99, 
101-7, 109-10, 140 j surrender 
Montreal to Sulpicians, 118- 
119,124; their opposition to the 
brandy traffic, 141 ; under the 
British, 141-2, 143-4; effect 
of their teaching, 142-4. 

Jogues, Father Isaac, in Hur- 
onia, 57, 62; with the Petuns, 
64 ; tortured by the Iroquois, 
90-2 ; his mission to the 
Mohawks, 94-6 ; his mar- 
tyrdom, 96-7. 

Jolliet, _ Louis, explores the 
Mississippi, 128-36. 

Kirke, Captain David, in com- 
mand of expeditions against 
New France, 33-8, 40-2. 

Kirke, Gervase, father of the 
Kirkes, 33. 

Kirke, Lewis and Thomas, 33, 
37, 40-2. 

La Barre, governor of Canada, 

Lalande, 95, 96 ; murdered by 

the Mohawks, 97. 


Lalemant, Father Charles, 
superior of the Jesuits in 
Canada, 10, 14, 18 ; his policy 
against the Huguenots, 29- 
30, 32; taken prisoner to 
England, 38 ; twice ship- 
wrecked, 39 ; assists in the 
foundation of the Montreal 
mission, 114. 

Lalemant, Father Gabriel, in 
Huronia, 76 ; tortured and 
murdered by the Iroquois, 

Lalemant, Father Jerome, 
superior of the Huron mis- 
sion, 62, 63-4 ; of the Canada 
mission, 71. 

La Peltrie, Madame de, founds 
the Ursuline Convent, 66; her 
interest in the Montreal mis- 
sion, 116. 

La Salle, explores the Missis- 
sippi, MI. 

Lauzon, Jean de, governor of 
Canada, 47, 99, 113, 114. 

Lauzon-Charny, Charles de, 
governor of Canada, 103. 

Laval, Francois de, bishop of 
Quebec, 141. 

Le Borgne, a crafty Ottawa 
chief, 49-50. 

Le Carpn, Father Joseph, 2 ; 
his mission in Huronia, 2-5, 
8, 9 ; taken prisoner by the 
Kirkes, 42-3. 

Le Coq, Robert, in Huronia, 

Le Jeune, Father Paul, superior 
of the Jesuits in Canada, 
45-6, 50-1, 66, 118. 

Le Moyne, Simon, in Huronia, 
62 ; envoy to the Iroquois, 
99-100, 1 1 8. 

Le Maitre, Father, 119. 

Le Mercier, Father Francois, 
in Huronia, 57, 101. 

Louis XIV, proclaims New 
France under royal govern- 
ment, 108. 

Maisonneuve, Sieur de, gover- 
nor of Montreal, 113, 114-16, 
1 1 8, 119. 

Mance, Jeanne, devotes her 
life to the Montreal mission, 
112-13, 114, 115, 116, 117, 

Marie de 1' Incarnation, Mother, 
arrives in Quebec, 66. 

Marquette, Father Jacques, 
missionary and explorer, 
127-8 ; with Jolliet explores 
the Mississippi, 128-36 ; 
among the Illinois, 137-8 ; 
his death, 138-9. 

Mascoutens, the, 126, 130. 

Masse, Father Ennemond, 10, 
14 ; taken prisoner to Eng- 
land, 42-3 ; returns to Canada, 


Menard, Father Ren6, perishes 
in the forest, 87. 

Menominees, the, 129. 

Mohawks, the, 83, 84, 94-7; 
spread terror in French settle- 
ments, 98, 100, 101, 103, 109 ; 
plot to destroy Huron settle- 
ment on island of Orleans, 
98 ; their country desolated, 
108-9; aud the Montreal 
mission, 117. See Iroquois. 

Montagnais, the, 5-6, 17, 50-1. 

Montmagny, Charles Huault 
de, governor of Canada, 65-6, 

94. US* 
Montreal, founding of mission 

in, 111-17, I2 3-4 an< * the 
Iroquois, 117, 119-23. 


Neutrals, the, 22, 26, 64-5, 72, 

New France, and the Iroquois 
scourge, 97-102, 119-20, 123; 
change of form of govern- 
ment, 107-8. 

Notre-Dame-des-Anges, build- 
ing of, 18-19, 45. 

Noue, Father Anne de, 18 ; in 
Huronia, 19-22, 25, 27 ; taken 
prisoner to England, 42-3 ; 
returns to Canada, 45, 46; 
frozen to death, 87. 

Noyrot, Father Philibert, 18 ; 
his mission to secure the ex- 
clusion of Huguenots from 
Canada, 30 ; shipwrecked 
and drowned, 39. 

Oblates in Canada, the, 143- 

Olbeau, Father Jean d', 2; 

among the Montagnais, 5-6. 
Olier, Jean Jacques, a founder 

of the Montreal mission, 112, 

1 13, 1 14 ; founds the Seminary 

of St Sulpice, 118. 
One Hundred Associates, the. 

See Company of New France. 
Oneidas, the, 98, 109. 
Onondaga, Jesuit colony in, 

Onondagas, the, 98, 99-101, 

102-7, 109. See Iroquois. 

Peron, Francois du, in Huronia, 
62, 118. 

Petit- Pre", Frangois, in Hur- 
onia, 63. 

Petuns (Tobacco Nation), the, 
5, 22, 64, 72, 82, 84 ; dispersed 
by the Iroquois, 86, 97, 103, 

Piat, Father Irenaeus, his mis- 

sion to secure the co-opera- 
tion of the Jesuits, 9. 

Pijart, Father Pierre, in Hur- 
onia, 57, 59, 62, 118. 

Plessis, Pacificus du, a Re- 
collet, 2. 

Poncet, Father, 118. 

Puys, Zachary du, in command 
of expedition to Onondaga, 

Quebec, i ; in 1625, 13 ; in 1629, 
28, 38-9 ; surrendered to the 
Kirkes, 40-2; restored to 
France, 44-9 ; in 1639, 67 ; 
Hurons settle in, 85-6. 

Queylus, Father Gabriel de, 119. 

Radisson, Pierre Esprit, 131 n. ; 
with the Jesuit mission in 
Onondaga, 105, 106. 

Ragueneauj Father Paul, 33 ; 
taken pnsoner to England, 
38 ; superior of the Huron 
mission, 71, 79, 81, 82, 85. 

Recollets, their Indian missions 
in Canada, 1-2, 5, 7-8, 13 ; 
their Huron mission, 2-5, 8 ; 
Huguenot opposition, 6-7 ; 
welcome the Jesuits, 9, 12-13, 
17 ; at the capture of Quebec, 
41, 42-3 ; excluded from Can- 
ada, 47 ; return to Canada, 
124 ; under the British, 142. 

Richelieu, Cardinal, his colonial 
policy, 30-1. 

Roquemont, Claude de, in com- 
mand of fleet of Company of 
New France, 32 ; surrenders 
to the Kirkes, 36-8. 

Sagard-Theodat, Gabriel, 8, 9 ; 
in Huronia, 8 ; his mission to 
secure Jesuit co-operation, 9. 



St Germain-en-Laye, treaty of, 

Sault au Re"collet, origin of 

name, 16 n. 
Seminary of St Sulpice, founded 

in Paris, 118, 123. 
Senecas, the, 83, 84, 98, 108, 

109. See Iroquois. 
Sillery, Chevalier de, endows 

home for Indians, 66. 
Sioux, the, 127-8. 
Society of Our Lady of Mont- 
real, 'the, 114, 115, 123. See 


Souart, Father Gabriel, 119. 
Sulpicians, the, take over the 

Montreal mission, 119, 123. 
Susa, convention of, 42. 

Talon, Jean, intendant of New 
France, 128. 

Tracy, Marquis de, his ex- 
pedition against the Iroquois, 

Ventadour, Due de, viceroy of 
New France, n, 30. 

Viel, Father Nicolas, in Hur- 
onia, 8-9; his tragic fate, 

Vignal, Father, 119. 

Ville Marie, 117. See Mont- 

Vimont, Father, superior of 
the Jesuits in Quebec, 115-16. 

Wyandots, the, 23 n., 86. 


Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton 
of the University of ^Toronto 

A series of thirty-two freshly-written narratives for 
popular reading, designed to set forth, in historic con- 
tinuity, the principal events and movements in Canada, 
from the Norse Voyages to the Railway Builders. 


1. The Dawn of Canadian History 

A Chronicle of Aboriginal Canada 


2. The Mariner of St Malo 

A Chronicle of the Voyages of Jacques Cartier 


3. The Founder of New France 

A Chronicle of Champlain 


4. The Jesuit Missions 

A Chronicle of the Cross in the Wilderness 


5. The Seigneurs of Old Canada 

A Chronicle of New- World Feudalism 


6. The Great Intendant 

A Chronicle of Jean Talon 


7. The Fighting Governor 

A Chronicle of Frontenac 


The Chronicles of Canada 


8. The Great Fortress 

A Chronicle of Louisbourg 


9. The Acadian Exiles 

A Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline 


10. The Passing of New France 

A Chronicle of Mont calm 


11. The Winning of Canada 

A Chronicle of Wolfe 



12. The Father of British Canada 

A Chronicle of Carleton 


13. The United Empire Loyalists 

A Chronicle of the Great Migration 


14. The War with the United States 

A Chronicle of 1812 



15. The War Chief of the Ottawas 

A Chronicle of the Pontiac War 


16. The War Chief of the Six Nations 

A Chronicle of Joseph Brant 


17. Tecumseh 

A Chronicle of the last Great Leader of his People 

The Chronicles of Canada 


1 8. The 'Adventurers of England ' on Hudson 


A Chronicle of the Fur Trade in the North 

19. Pathfinders of the Great Plains 

A Chronicle of La Verendrye and his Sons 


20. Adventurers of the Far North 

A Chronicle of the Arctic Seas 


21. The Red River Colony 

A Chronicle of the Beginnings of Manitoba 


22. Pioneers of the Pacific Coast 

A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters 

23. The Cariboo Trail 

A Chronicle of the Gold-fields of British Columbia 


24. The Family Compact 

A Chronicle of the Rebellion in Upper Canada 


25. The Patriotes of '37 

A Chronicle of the Rebellion in Lower Canada 


26. The Tribune of Nova Scotia 

A Chronicle of Joseph Howe 


27. The Winning of Popular Government 

A Chronicle of the Union of 1841 


The Chronicles of Canada 


28. The Fathers of Confederation 

A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion 


29. The Day of Sir John Macdonald 

A Chronicle of the Early Years of the Dominion 

30. The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

A Chronicle of Our Own Times 



31. All Afloat 

A Chronicle of Craft and Waterways 


32. The Railway Builders 

A Chronicle of Overland Highways 


Published by 
Glasgow, Brook & Company 


FC 162 .C47 v.4 


Marquis, Thomas Guthrie, 

The Jesuit missions : a 

chronicle of the cross 
AKF-7504 (mcab)